Trump administration to end deportation protection for almost 200000 Salvadorans in 2019

by Antonio Miles January 9, 2018, 0:29
Trump administration to end deportation protection for almost 200000 Salvadorans in 2019

This decision will harm almost 200,000 Salvadoran TPS holders, and their over 190,000 USA citizen children.

WASHINGTON ― The Trump administration will tell about 200,000 Salvadorans who have been living in the US for 17 years or more that they need to get out by September 2019 or face deportation, according to two news reports on Monday. Salvadoran immigrants will face possible deportation if they don't leave the country by September 2019, or find another way to obtain legal status in the United States.

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 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". An estimated 200,000 Salvadoran immigrants have the protection, according to a November report by the Congressional Research Service.

TPS status should be extended until beneficiaries can safely return home and can successfully reintegrate into their home communities.

The Trump administration has faced a series of deadlines over the past year to decide whether to end the protected status of immigrants in the USA whose home countries have been affected by disasters.

But Ms. Nielsen said she was abiding by the letter of the law, which only allows TPS to be granted when the home country is not able to handle the return of its own people.

Advocates for continuing TPS for El Salvador and other countries in Central America have argued that violence and political unrest make it unsafe for migrants to return.

"Only Congress can legislate a permanent solution addressing the lack of an enduring lawful immigration status of those now protected by TPS who have lived and worked in the United States for many years", the announcement stated.

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The protection program has been recently criticized by Senator Chuck Grassley, an Iowa Republican who chairs the Senate Judiciary Committee, who said in an October 30 letter to the Department of Homeland Security that immigrants living in the USA under TPS were taking "jobs that might otherwise be filled by one of the 7.1 million unemployed Americans".

Homeland Security officials said the administration was open to Congress coming up with an amnesty allowing them to remain in the U.S.

Although administration officials have said protections for current TPS holders should be left to Congress, it's clearly not a priority ― the White House hasn't mentioned it in documents laying out its policy goals on immigration.

Nielsen said last week that short-term extensions are not the answer.

This fall, her department ended temporary protected designations for thousands of immigrants, including more than 50,000 from Haiti and thousands more from Nicaragua and Sudan, which critics say needlessly uproots contributing immigrants to send them back to unstable countries.

Salvadoran immigrant Orlando Zepeda, who came to the U.S.in 1984 to flee civil war, said he wasn't surprised by Monday's decision given the administration's position on other countries.

"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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