Admin Ends Temporary Protected Immigration Status For 200,000 El Salvadorans
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What’s the story?
On Monday Homeland Security Secretary Kirstjen M. Nielsen officially announced the administration was rescinding Temporary Protected Status (TPS) for 200,000 Salvadoran legal residents. These immigrants have had legally protected status since 2001, when major earthquakes decimated the country.
DHS stated that those effected have 18 months, until September of 2019, to "either leave the U.S. or "seek an alternative lawful immigration status in the United States, if eligible.""
TPS designation was extended to immigrants already in the U.S. as of 2001 by President George W. Bush, allowing them to work and reside legally without fear of deportation. Recipients were required to reapply, paying hundreds of dollars in application fees, every 18 months.
The Salvadoran government has requested repeatedly that the designation be extended. The U.S. government has deemed for the last 15 years that drought, extreme poverty and widespread gang violence were reasonable reasons to keep the designation in place.
The Trump administration, however, says that the original reason for the designation, earthquake damage, is no longer a factor, so the justification for the designation is gone.
The administration has been eliminating countries from the TPS program steadily. The Haitian TPS designation will end in July of 2019. Last week the administration also rescinded TPS designation from 2,500 Nicaraguan immigrants.
Decisions are still pending on TPS designations for Honduras, Nepal, Syria, Sudan, Yemen, Somalia, and South Sudan, but with the El Salvador decision the administration has rescinded protections for the vast majority of the 300,000 immigrants protected under the program when President Trump took office.
The administration says Congress can now choose whether or not to permanently protect these long-term legal residents, many of whom have minor children who are U.S. citizens.
What do you think?
Was the administration right to end TPS designation for Salvadorans or not? Should Congress pass legislation to protect these legal residents before they are at risk for deportation?
Tell us in the comments what you think, then use the Take Action button to tell your reps!
— Asha Sanaker
(Photo Credit: Joint Task Force-Bravo / Creative Commons)
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