Trump Ends Protection From Deportation for 200000 Salvadorans

Peter Castro
January 9, 2018

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 DHS statement also noted that the USA government has deported more than 39,000 Salvadorans in the past two years, demonstrating, it said, "that the temporary inability of El Salvador to adequately return their nationals after the quake has been addressed". Salvadorans make up the largest share of immigrants protected by the program, and all of them have lived in the United States since at least 2001.

The Department of Homeland Security has chose to not renew the program, which provides humanitarian relief for foreigners whose countries are hit with natural disasters or serious conflict. The "temporary protected status", as it is known, lasts for about two years before needing to be renewed.

The administration has been curtailing participation in the designation known as Temporary Protected Status, or TPS, over the past year, with Haitians and Nicaraguans most recently being told they will no longer be eligible. A six-month extension was recently granted to 57,000 Hondurans living in the United States with provisional residency, a decision made prior to Nielsen's arrival by then-Acting DHS Secretary Elaine Duke.

The widely expected move culminates a series of similar decisions from the Trump administration to substantially curtail the use of Temporary Protected Status - a protection from deportation and authorization to live and work legally for nationals of countries that have suffered a disaster such as war, an epidemic or natural disasters. She says that El Salvador has received significant global aid and that much of the country's infrastructure is rebuilt.

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The administration is granting an 18-month delay so that Salvadorans here under TPS can make arrangements to depart or can apply for other statuses if they qualify.

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.

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.

"(Monday's decision) is a test of whether she properly reflects the Trump campaign's commitment to the people on these issues", said Dan Stein, president of the Federation for American Immigration Reform.

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