Earlier this month, the Trump administration announced that it will end the Temporary Protected Status (“TPS”) of more than 200,000 Salvadorans who have lived in the United States since at least 2001, leaving them in residential limbo. The administration said it will give El Salvadorans until Sept. 9, 2019, to leave the United States or find a way to obtain a green card, or else risk deportation.
After the 2001 El Salvador earthquake that killed 944 people and injured over 5,500, Salvadorans were granted TPS. The program allows immigrants to stay in the US and work legally after their home countries are struck by natural disasters or war. This is the latest blow in the administration’s fight against foreigners living in the United States, and more specifically, TPS protections.
Sadly, the Salvadorans affected by this discontinuation have deep roots in the United States. Nearly 200,000 U.S.-born children have at least one parent who will lose legal status in 2019 because of the repeal. TPS also provides protection to other countries, such as Honduras, Somalia, South Sudan, Syria, Nepal, and Yemen. Of those, TPS is ending for El Salvador, Haiti, Nicaragua, and Sudan, but that list could grow.
Almost 60,000 Haitians face removed after the current administration determined that the temporary residency program from the 2010 earthquake was no longer needed. Haitians have until July 2019 to gain a different legal immigration status or leave. Below are the dates for when TPS will expire for the other countries:
- Syria: March 31, 2018
- Nepal: June 24, 2018
- Honduras: July 5, 2018
- Somalia Sept. 17, 2018
- Yemen September 3, 2018
- South Sudan May 2, 2019
DHS Secretary Kirstjen Nielsen must decide whether to terminate TPS for any country at least 60 days before it is set to expire. If no decision is made, that country's TPS is automatically extended for six months.
Trump supporters have noted that the program was only meant to be “temporary” when it was created by Congress in 1990. The President frequently invokes MS-13, who are strongest in El Salvador, as another reason for this immigration enforcement.
"This policy [is] probably going to worsen poverty and the conditions in El Salvador, but it's also going to do the same thing in the United States," Mike Allison, a political-science professor at the University of Scranton, told Business Insider. "If you end up deporting or taking away the legal status of 200,000 people, they're going to lose the good-paying jobs that they have right now. You've removed thousands of fully employed people and now their kids won't be able to rely upon the income from their parents, which is going to force, probably, many of them into poverty."
If you or someone you know is affected by the end of TPS, contact our Houston immigration attorneys at The Modi Law Firm, PLLC today. Call (832) 514-4030 today to schedule a consultation and learn about the options that may be available to you, including family-based green cards or humanitarian visas as well as an asylum. Due to the length of time for the U.S. government to process some of these applications, your case may need immediate attention and therefore a legal consultation may be time-sensitive. Contact us today to see if we can help you! Se Habla Español.