Salvadorians Forced to Go Home

temporary protection status revoked for Salvadorians


Lorie Shaull

Protesters walk with an El Salvador flag banner during the ‘Day Without Immigrants’ strike in May 2017.

Since his presidential inauguration in January 2017, Donald Trump has carried through with multiple goals that he addressed in his campaign. He has already attempted to revoke Obamacare and has initiated the removal of approximately 206,000 illegal immigrants.

One of his administration’s most recent actions was the termination of the El Salvador TPS program. The Temporary Protected Status (TPS)  program, enacted in 1990, gave legal status to non-US citizens fleeing from war, natural disasters or other emergency situations. The TPS program at one point protected approximately 320,000 non-Americans from at least nine different countries, including El Salvador, Sudan, Haiti and Nicaragua.

The Salvadoran TPS program was initiated after the 2001 earthquakes in El Salvador. The program has since then been renewed in terms of 18 months, but today, Trump decided not to renew the program. Salvadorans will have another 18 months, until September 9th 2019, to leave the US before they are deported.

An administrative official said that Homeland Security Secretary Kirstjen Nielsen stated that many of the problems which led to the need for the El Salvador program have been solved.

Opponents of this development believe that although natural destruction may no longer be an issue, drug trafficking and crime are still issues in El Salvador.

TPS was meant to be a temporary solution for non-Americans, but many immigrants involved in the program have been living in the US for decades, and Americans and immigrants are also protesting these developments because deportation of adults could break up families and disrupt communities.

The legal status of approximately 6,000 Haitians will also end on July 22nd, 2019 and Nicaraguans will lose their legal status on January fifth, 2019.

To learn more about TPS, visit the United States Department of Justice online here.