President Donald Trump ended immigration protection for 200,000 Salvadorans living in the United States. This Monday, the Trump administration announced it will revoke the Temporary Protected Status or TPS granted to Salvadorans following the earthquakes that hit their country in 2001.
After remaining in the U.S. for over 10 years, established Salvadorans now have until September 9th, 2019, to leave the United States or find lawful means to remain. The Department of Homeland Security (DHS) released a statement that said:
“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. Thus, under the applicable statute, the current TPS designation must be terminated.”
Immigrant advocates and government officials from El Salvador asked Secretary Kirstjen Nielsen to extend the TPS designation, citing the horrific gang violence in the South American country. They also said that deporting so many working people at once could have a destabilizing effect on the U.S. economy.
Others urged her to consider the 190,000 U.S.-born children of Salvadoran TPS recipients. Families will be forced to either break up, move back to El Salvador and uproot their lives, or remain in the United States and risk deportation.
On Monday, Senior DHS officials said that the Salvadoran families will have to make that decision. They said it isn’t DHS’ fault that Congress has not legislated an enduring lawful immigration status for those currently protected by TPS.
The potential economic consequence is not part of Nielsen’s decision-making process, and the 18-month delay should allow Congress time to craft a potential legislative solution. Trump’s administration repeatedly called the TPS program an example of American immigration policy gone awry.
They created the designation to provide “temporary” protection, but instead, provided years of residency. Lawmakers from both parties blasted DHS’s decision, with Rep. Jim McGovern calling it “a shameful and cynical move” whose purpose is to “score political points with the extreme right-wing Republican base.”
This article was inspired by THE WASHINGTON POST // 200,000 Salvadorans may be forced to leave the U.S. as Trump ends immigration protection