• Mary Harrison

El Salvadorean immigrants lose protected status

On Jan. 8, 2018, the U.S. Department of Homeland Security (DHS) announced that Temporary Protected Status (TPS) will be removed from El Salvadorean immigrants living in the United States. The approximately 200,000 Salvadoreans have until Sept. 9, 2019, to leave the country or seek another immigration status, or they will face deportation.

TPS is a status that allows immigrants from recently devastated countries to legally live and work in the U.S. It was extended to Salvadoreans living in the United States after two earthquakes hit their country in 2001. However, DHS claims that “The original conditions caused by the 2001 earthquakes no longer exist,” and therefore, “under the applicable status, the current TPS designation must be terminated.”

Families could be affected by the decision. According to the BBC, these immigrants have had about 190,000 children while living in the U.S., who are automatic U.S. citizens. Deporting these parents could separate their families. Another concern that NPR presents is that the El Salvadoreans could face danger when they return to their country, which is swept by violence.

DHS suggested that Congress use the remaining 18-months until the deadline to “craft a potential legislative solution.”