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

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

The decision upset immigrant rights advocates who argue the TPS holders were allowed to live in the United States for about 17 years, have kids here, and build lives in the country.

Monday is the deadline for deciding the future of a protected status for nationals of El Salvador, and the Department of Homeland Security is widely expected to announce an end to the program, which has offered work permits and the right to live in the United States.

Salvadorans make up the largest portion of individuals covered by so-called temporary protected status, which shields about 320,000 people in the USA from deportation, according to the Congressional Research Service.

They have enjoyed special protection since earthquakes struck the Central American country in 2001, and many have established deep roots in the USA, starting families and businesses.

Nielsen has the ultimate decision on whether to extend El Salvador's status, but advocates on the issue from both sides of the aisle anticipate a similar decision to that on Haiti, a struggling country as well, but one the department says has recovered from its devastating natural disaster in 2010.

"The end of TPS for El Salvador is a devastating betrayal for thousands of families who arrived at the United States seeking safety as well as their USA citizen children". An estimated 200,000 Salvadoran immigrants have the protection, according to a November report by the Congressional Research Service.

But the Trump administration has taken a stricter approach, saying the law government TPS only allows the status as long as the home country is still recovering.




Homeland Security also said more than 39,000 Salvadorans have returned home from the U.S.in two years, demonstrating El Salvador's capacity to absorb people. "By returning TPS recipients to El Salvador, the United States could be sending people to their deaths". Temporary in nature, the status has been extended in roughly 18-month increments by both Republican and Democratic administrations.

President Donald Trump, accompanied by Secretary of Homeland Security Kirstjen Nielsen, speaks during a meeting with Republican Senators on immigration at the White House in Washington on January 4, 2018.

"Allowing them to stay longer only undermines the integrity of the program and essentially makes the "temporary" protected status a front operation for backdoor permanent immigration", added Roy Beck, president of NumbersUSA. This would put the expiration date of the TPS at September 9, 2019. The decision was heavily criticized by immigrant advocates who said it ignored violence in El Salvador, which has one of the world's highest murder rates. Trump said in September that he was ending Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals, or DACA, but gave Congress until March to act. Critics say it has proved anything but temporary - with many beneficiaries staying years after the initial justification.

"Getting them to a permanent solution is a much better plan than having them live six months to 12 months to 18 months", she told the AP. She delayed a decision affecting more than 50,000 Hondurans, leaving that decision to Nielsen.

Last year, the administration ended those protections for citizens of Haiti and Nicaragua.

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"It's sad, because it's the same story of family separation from that time, and now history repeats itself with my children", Zepeda said in Spanish.

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