WASHINGTON ― The Trump administration will tell about 200,000 Salvadorans who have been living in the U.S. for 17 years or more that they need to get out by September 2019 or face deportation.
The Department of Homeland Security’s announcement on Monday that the administration will end temporary protected status, or TPS, for natives of El Salvador, comes after it did the same for about 50,000 Haitians and 2,500 Nicaraguans, and hinted it may soon eliminate protections for about 57,000 Hondurans. It also comes after President Donald Trump rescinded the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals program, or DACA, which granted deportation relief and work permits to nearly 700,000 current recipients.
That means nearly 1 million people currently allowed to live and work in the U.S. will soon be at risk of deportation unless they can find another way to gain legal status.
The Trump administration has indicated for months that it believes the “temporary” in “temporary protected status” has been wrongly overlooked for too long.
TPS for Salvadorans was first established in 2001 after earthquakes devastated the country. Only individuals who could show they had lived in the U.S. since before February 2001 can receive TPS, which allows them to work and live without fear of removal. Congressional Research Service puts the number of Salvadoran TPS recipients at about 260,000, but other experts say it is closer to 200,000 because some have gotten other immigration relief or left the country.
Immigrant rights advocates argue that it would be wrong for the U.S. to send Salvadorans back to a country with one of the worst homicide rates in the world, particularly when many have U.S. citizen children who could be targets for gangs if they go with their parents. Experts estimate that Salvadoran TPS holders are parents to about 190,000 U.S.-born children, who are American citizens.
DHS officials, who spoke to reporters on the condition they not be identified by name, said they considered factors in El Salvador such as reconstruction after the earthquakes, but not other issues such as gang violence, because the natural disasters were the reason for the initial TPS designation.
An official said only Congress can create a permanent solution for TPS recipients and DHS looks forward to working with lawmakers.
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Source: Yahoo News