The Trump Administration Will End Protected Status for 200000 Salvadorans

Ruben Hill
January 8, 2018

About 262,000 Salvadorans living in the USA likely will lose the temporary legal status that many have enjoyed for nearly two decades with a decision by the Trump administration that is scheduled for today.

The Department of Homeland Security plans to end temporary legal status for about 200,000 Salvadorans, the Washington Post reports. "Nielsen has told 200,000 of our friends, neighbors, and colleagues -people who sought safety in the United States and have had full permission to build lives here for almost 17 years - that they have 18 months to pack their bags and return to El Salvador, a country that is plagued by the highest homicide rate in Latin America, a 95 percent impunity rate, and escalating human rights abuses".

Homeland Security Secretary Kirstjen Nielsen has decided that El Salvador has finally recovered enough from a 2001 quake that it can handle the return of its citizens, who had been allowed to remain in the U.S.by the Bush and Obama administrations under special Temporary Protected Status.

Last week, Homeland Security said it would end TPS status for Nicaragua, which has some 2,500 citizens in the US under the protective status.

Salvadorans will have until September 2019 to leave or obtain other legal options to stay in the United States, according to the Washington Post.

. Of that number, the majority were originally from El Salvador; the two other main nationalities with TPS status are Hondurans - some 57,000 of whom will learn their fate in July - and Haitians - about 46,000 of whom have already been told their TPS status will end.

The decision is likely to please immigration hard-liners who argue the TPS program was never meant to provide long-term residency. An estimated 200,000 Salvadoran immigrants have the protections, according to a November report by the Congressional Research Service.

Oscar Chacón, executive director of Alianza Americas, a network of Latin American and Caribbean immigrant groups in the United States, said the decision puts the Salvadorans in danger.

Immigration advocates say that ending the protections will cause major issues for El Salvador, a country of 6.2 million people.

The department is expected to announce the move Monday morning.

Other reports by Click Lancashire

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