Published: Tue, January 09, 2018
World | By Melba Underwood

Trump admin ends protections for 200000 Salvadorans

Trump admin ends protections for 200000 Salvadorans

El Salvador has maintained TPS since 2001 when a major natural disaster devastated the country.

The approximately 262,000 Salvadorans that now have Temporary Protected Status (TPS) will have until September 9, 2019 to either change their immigration status, leave the US or face potential deportation.

This fall, her department ended temporary protected designations for thousands of immigrants, including more than 50,000 from Haiti and thousands more from Nicaragua and Sudan, which critics say needlessly uproots contributing immigrants to send them back to unstable countries.

If Nielsen opts to end the Salvadorans' protections, it likely would give them 12 to 18 months to apply for some other visa to stay in the United States or prepare to leave.

The DHS says more than 250,000 Salvadorans - all of whom are required to have lived in the USA continually since 2001 - are covered by TPS. "Based on careful consideration of available information, including recommendations received as part of an inter-agency consultation process, the Secretary determined that the original conditions caused by the 2001 earthquakes no longer exist".

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Immigrant rights advocates argue that it would be wrong for the send Salvadorans back to a country with one of the worst homicide rates in the world, particularly when many have USA citizen children who could be targets for gangs if they go with their parents.

Secretary Kirstjen Nielsen said Monday that damage inflicted by a 2001 quake in the Central American country didn't justify another temporary extension. "Majority see themselves much more as American citizens than Salvadoran citizens and to end that protection and program is going to disrupt many communities across the United States", Rep. Gerry Connolly, D-Virginia, said on CNN Monday.

Advocates for continuing TPS for El Salvador and other countries in Central America have argued that violence and political unrest make it unsafe for migrants to return. "It's inhumane and not consistent with American values". She says that El Salvador has received significant global aid and that much of the country's infrastructure is rebuilt.

In ending the protections for other groups, the Homeland Security Department has urged outraged lawmakers to enact legislation rather than continue to force the secretary to make the decisions.

The issue will now be kicked to Congress. Senate negotiators are discussing potentially including a deal to end the diversity lottery, which is a top target of President Donald Trump, in exchange for some resolution on TPS, according to Republican Arizona Sen.

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