DHS to end protections for some Salvadoran immigrants

Many Salvadorians in New York face uncertain future
Activist: DHS Order on El Salvador Will 'Break Up Families'
Author

09 January, 2018

The administration will notify the Salvadorans they have until September 9, 2019 to leave the United States or find a new way to obtain legal residency, according to a copy of the announcement prepared by the Department of Homeland Security that will be published Monday morning.

The Trump administration will announce Monday that it intends to cancel the provisional residency permits of about 200,000 Salvadorans who have lived in the country since at least 2001, leaving them vulnerable to deportation, according to mulitple people on Capitol Hill who've been apprised of the plan. In November, then-Acting Sec.

President Donald Trump's decision signals a departure from the stance of previous administrations, which granted and re-authorized temporary protected status for Hondurans beginning in the late 1990s.

The Department of Homeland Security is set to make a formal announcement on the decision later Monday. The designation is granted as a form of humanitarian relief at the discretion of presidents to immigrants from countries in crisis due to war, natural disaster or other extraordinary conditions, giving them a chance to live in the US with lawful status under renewable work permits.

Immigrant-rights activists, religious leaders and business groups had been pleading for a full renewal, saying the USA economy relies on the Salvadorans for labor, and many of them have had children born here, making them American citizens and raising the possibility they'll have to separate their families.

"Based on careful consideration of available information, including recommendations received as part of an inter-agency consultation process, the Secretary determined that the original conditions caused by the 2001 earthquakes no longer exist", Monday's DHS statement read.

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The DHS will delay termination of TPS for a period of 18 months, which, the DHS says, will "provide time for individuals with TPS to arrange for their departure or to seek an alternative lawful immigration status in the United States, if eligible". Losing them could cost the US about $280 million in contributions to gross domestic product, according to an analysis by the Immigrant Resource Center, which promotes immigrant rights.

Lawmakers from both parties who represent cities and states with large immigrant populations blasted Monday's DHS decision, including Rep. Jim McGovern, D-Mass., who called it "a shameful and cynical move" whose goal was to "score political points with the extreme right wing Republican base".

"They have resettled, established their families and lives here in the United States".

Patrick Young, program director at the nonprofit Central American Refugee Center in Hempstead and Brentwood, said prior administrations had considered "the conditions of chaotic violence in El Salvador" when they extended TPS.


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