Outrage as Trump administration ends temporary protected status for 260k Salvadorans

Jan 09, 2018, 00:29
Outrage as Trump administration ends temporary protected status for 260k Salvadorans

The Center for American Progress estimates that the Salvadoran TPS holders in Texas have about 42,500 US citizen children.

Almost 200,000 Salvadorans who've had temporary permission to live in the United States for the past 17 years will have until September 9, 2019, to leave the U.S. or face deportation, the Trump administration announced Monday.

The Trump administration will end the Temporary Protected Status (TPS) program for Salvadorans by September 9, 2019, giving recipients the chance to reregister and renew their current status to live and work in the United States through one final 18-month extension.

DHS Secretary Kirstjen Nielsen determined that circumstances resulting from the 2001 earthquakes 'no longer exist, ' senior White House administration officials said on a press call Monday about the program's termination.

She explained that El Salvador has received significant worldwide aid and that much of the country's infrastructure is rebuilt.

Salvadoran President Salvador Sánchez Cerén phoned Nielsen on Friday and appealed her to extend TPS, according to the Washington Post.

Since the 1990s, TPS has provided legal protections on a temporary basis for people fleeing dire conditions like war, violence, or natural disasters.

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Under President Donald Trump - who has boasted of his goal to reduce legal immigration - other TPS designations have also been halted, including for citizens of Sudan, Haiti, and Nicaragua, while the designation for Hondurans was automatically extended for six months. Salvadorans were granted the protections after a pair of earthquakes in 2001 that killed more than 1,150 people between them and left hundreds of thousands homeless.

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. The "temporary protected status", as it is known, lasts for about two years before needing to be renewed.

"The past practice of allowing foreign nationals to remain in the United States long after an initial emergency in their home countries has ended has undermined the integrity of the program and essentially made the "temporary" protected status a front operation for backdoor permanent immigration", Beck said.

The U.S. created Temporary Protected Status in 1990 to provide a safe haven from countries affected by earthquakes, floods, hurricanes, war and other disasters, and it now shields almost 320,000 people from 10 countries. Rep. Bennie Thompson, ranking Democrat on the House Homeland Security Committee, said it was "just the latest in a string of heartless, xenophobic actions from the Trump administration".

In November, Nielsen's predecessor, acting Secretary Elaine Duke, ended the protection for Haitians, requiring about 50,000 to leave or adjust their legal status by July 22, 2019, and for Nicaraguans, giving about 2,500 until January 5, 2019. She delayed a decision affecting more than 50,000 Hondurans, leaving that decision to Nielsen.

The administration will notify the Salvadorans they have until September 9, 2019 to leave the United States or find a new way to obtain legal residency, according to a copy of the announcement prepared by the Department of Homeland Security that will be published Monday morning... Other countries covered are Nepal, Somalia, Syria and Yemen.

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