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United States withdraws protection to 260,000 Salvadorans and opens door to deportation

Immigrants will have 18 months to get a legal permit or leave the country

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United States withdraws protection to 260,000 Salvadorans and opens door to deportation

First were Nicaraguan immigrants, n Haitians and now Salvadorans. The government of Donald Trump announced on Monday end of temporary protection status (TPS in its English acronym), a special program that prevents deportation, for some 260,000 Salvadoran immigrants. It is most severe blow of Republican administration to immigrants present in United States.

Salvadoran citizens under TPS are 18 months, until September 2019, to leave U.S. or get anor legal residence permit in first power. If y do not, reafter, y will be considered undocumented immigrants and may be deported.

The trauma is huge. Many Salvadorans have been living in U.S. for years since y emigrated from ir country after bloody civil war in 1980s. They have children born in United States who, unlike ir parents, have citizenship and cannot be expelled. The program began in 2001 after El Salvador suffered two devastating earthquakes.

TPS has become an easy target for Trump Immigration's hard-handed policy. Critics argue that it was conceived to offer temporary and non-permanent migratory protections. The Department of Homeland Security must decide frequently wher or not to renew protections. The TPS, which now benefits 10 countries, was created in 1990 to grant temporary visas and work permits to citizens affected by wars or natural disasters. The result is that immigrants who are already present in United States cannot be deported to ir countries of origin because of ir instability.

Earlier TPS cancellations affected many fewer immigrants. In November, amparo was not renewed (also with a deadline of 18 months) to 59,000 Haitians, whose program began after earthquake of 2010, and also to 5,300 Nicaraguans, protected after hurricane Mitch of 1998. In September, some 1,000 Sudanese immigrants withdrew that status.

However, US government decided to postpone, to next July, decision on fate of 86,000 Hondurans under umbrella of TPS waiting to analyze wher it is safe to return to ir country, shaken by a wave of violence. And it maintained protection of about fifty immigrants from South Sudan until mid-2019.

In case of El Salvador, Department of Homeland Security used very similar arguments to cancellations for Haiti and Nicaragua. "The original conditions caused by 2001 earthquakes no longer exist," said a statement from department directed by Kirstjen Nielsen. He stressed that re is no longer a "substantial disruption of living conditions" in that country and that U.S. has deported Salvadoran immigrants in recent years (about 39,000 in last two), what "proves that Savior's temporary inability to challenge has been addressed Properly to ir nationals after earthquake. "

After setback of end of TPS, Nielsen retorted tactic, to pass hot potato to Congress, used by Trump with DACA program, which will end in March and allow deportation of some 800,000 immigrants who came from children to America. "Only Congress can legislate a permanent solution that addresses absence of a durable immigration legal status to those currently protected by TPS, "he said. "The 18-month termination delay gives Congress time to draft a potential legislative solution."

Congress, however, has now been unable to find a consensus on DACA, and it seems unlikely that, given Republican control of chambers, it will propel an ambitious reform over TPS.

According to Center for Migratory Studies, 51% of Salvadorans with TPS have lived in U.S. for at least 20 years. 88% of m work and 10% have married Americans. A quarter of Salvadorans live in California and a fifth in suburbs of Washington City.

Latino and political organizations of Hispanic origin, Democrats and Republicans, harshly criticized decision of Trump's government. "The United States has turned its back on its promise to give shelter to those who suffer violence and persecution in ir native countries," said Oscar Chacón, director of Alianza Americas. "Although living conditions may have improved slightly, El Salvador now faces a significant problem with drug trafficking, ganging and crime," said Republican congressman Mario Díaz-Balart. Democrat Bob Menendez lamented "impulses nativist" of Trump's government.


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