Mr. Trump’s policies have been more than detrimental for many immigrants. Trump began his campaign with promises to “build a wall” to keep immigrants from arriving on the U.S-Mexico border, and was very soon supported by followers subscribing to his militant, racist anti-immigrant rhetoric.
So far, several groups of people have been affected by the administration’s immigration policies including those from several Muslim countries as well as Mexican immigrants. Now, Mr. Trump is targeting another large group- Salvadoran immigrants. The Trump Administration is going to announce the end of Temporary Protected Status (TPS) for immigrants from El Salvador.
‘The Department of Homeland Security is ending “temporary protected status,” or TPS, for Salvadorans, according to a source familiar with the decision.’
Back in January of 2001, a major earthquake struck El Salvador, measuring 7.7 on the Richter Scale. Two more earthquakes shook the country again the following month. The country was completely devastated and more than 1100 people were killed. This caused 1.3 million people to be displaced.
According to CNN:
‘The devastation spurred a decision that March by then-US Attorney General John Ashcroft: Immigrants from El Salvador who’d been in the United States since February 2001 could apply for temporary protected status, which would protect them from deportation and allow them to get work permits. It was an 18-month designation.’
Although it has been 17 years, officials from various administrations have determined that conditions still haven’t improved enough for migrants with TPS to return. In a huge blow on Monday, the Trump Administration “decided to end protections with an 18-month wind-down period, the source said.”
It has been reported:
‘There were 263,282 Salvadoran TPS beneficiaries at the end of 2016, according to the latest statistics provided to CNN by US Citizenship and Immigration Services.’
Many activists and experts say that about 200,000 Salvadorans would lose protections. They have noted that official statistics likely include people who are no longer in the program because their immigration status has changed or they have left the United States. According to CNN:
‘Immigrant rights advocates say it is unfair and cruel to end TPS for Salvadorans who’ve built lives, paid taxes, contributed to the economy and raised families for nearly two decades in the United States. They also argue that violence and widespread poverty make it unsafe for migrants to return to El Salvador.’
The Federation for American Immigration Reform supports the Trump Administration’s actions to end TPS, and says there’s a reason the designation was referred to as “temporary.” They argue that conditions in El Salvador are good enough for immigrants to return.
Salvadoran immigrants have been coming to the U.S. since the 1980’s when the country had a major civil war, which caused more than 25 percent of El Salvador’s residents to flee. Between 1985-1990, 330,000 Salvadorans came to the U.S. CNN reports:
‘And in recent years, while immigration from Mexico has slowed, the rate of immigration from El Salvador and other Central American countries has been on the rise.’
Shockingly, too, U.S. Customs and Border Protection reports that more than 58,000 unaccompanied minors were apprehended at the U.S.-Mexico border. During the last fiscal year, “more than 24,000 Salvadoran parents and children traveling together were apprehended at the border.”
This is perhaps one of the more serious issues that the El Salvadorans will face upon return:
The Trump Administration is giving Salvadoran immigrants a window to obtain a different legal status or leave the country by September 2019.
Here are some thoughts from Twitter:
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