Removal of Salvadoran Temporary Protected Status
Under President Donald Trump, the Department of Homeland Security has resulted to repeal Temporary Protected Status from over 200,000 El Salvadoran refugees. The decision from the young administration has shocked many and caused much action, especially while they are still recovering from the removal of DACA.
Temporary Protected Status allows refugees to work and live inside the United States as circumstances in their home countries recover from disaster. About 250,000 Salvadorans are currently living in the US under TPS, and will be forced to vacate the country by September 9, 2019.
TPS was established for El Salvadorans in 2001, after a 7.7 magnitude earthquake ravaged the country, with dozens of smaller quakes occuring in the following months. Originally, the status was only meant to last 18 months, but both President Bush and Obama extended it repeatedly.
However, the Trump administration declared that the conditions of the country have improved enough to receive the nationals back into their society without any repercussions.
However, the very opposite statement was used by the Bush and Obama administrations as reasons to keep Salvadorans with TPS in the country. They believed that the country was not ready to receive the citizens because of the drought, poverty, and gang violence that captivate the country.
Many of the Salvadorans with TPS benefit the Salvadoran economy from the US. Sending over $600 million back to family members and loved ones, which is more support than the US provides to the country. This support counts for over 2% of the Salvadoran GDP, and for a country whose GDP only grows 2% per year, the loss of this support could be devastating.
This isn’t the first time that the protected status of immigrants was revoked under the Trump Administration. Just in September of 2017, the Department of Homeland Security removed TPS for immigrant groups from other places, such as Haiti and Nicaragua.
Another large blow for immigrants in the US was the removal of the Deferred action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) status in September 2017. The repeal of DACA would force over 800,000 undocumented adults and children who came to the US as children to leave and return to their home countries. It also caused a huge uproar of immigrant and citizen communities all over the country, igniting the same protesters that are fighting for the protected status of other groups.
Many people are fighting for the extension of the Salvadoran protected status, and have approached lawmakers and representatives to use their legal power in doing so. As for now, like many other rulings by the Trump administration, all is subject to change.
Protesters outside the White House fighting for TPS of immigrants.
Photo Credit: Univision