Trump admin ends protections for 200000 Salvadorans

09 January, 2018, 02:06 | Author: Phil Peters
  • President Donald Trump and Homeland Security Secretary Kirstjen Nielsen
Credit
UPI

When the protections end, recipients revert to the status they have otherwise, which would likely leave a number of Salvadorans undocumented after almost two decades of legally working and living in the United States.

According to the Department of Homeland Security, countries that receive Temporary Protection Status (TPS) are defined as having "ongoing armed conflict (such as civil war), an environmental disaster (such as quake or hurricane), or an epidemic, [and] other extraordinary and temporary conditions".

The announcement 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.

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.

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The original designation was granted to El Salvadorans in the U.S.in 2001 after a series of earthquakes. Of those Salvadorans, analysts say some 200,000 could face ouster without renewed TPS. DHS determined that the original conditions caused by the 2001 earthquakes no longer exist.

New Homeland Security Secretary Kirstjen Nielsen faces her first major test on immigration policy next week with a decision that could force upwards of 250,000 Central Americans to leave the United States or scramble to find a way to stay.

Congressional Democrats are already moving to try to create a new pathway to citizenship for TPS holders, giving them an official way to remain in the US permanently, as part of ongoing discussions over the fate of so-called Dreamers, another category of sympathetic illegal immigrants. "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. Florida Republican and immigration reform advocate Rep. Mario Diaz-Balart quickly released a statement in "strong disagreement" with the administration. The U.S. has been deporting tens of thousands of illegal immigrants to El Salvador over the last few years, which she concluded means the country is prepared to welcome back its citizens.

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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