The Trump Administration’s announcement in January that special protections for Salvadoran immigrants will soon end is forcing hundreds of thousands of immigrants to either find alternative ways to obtain legal immigration status in the United States or return to a violent homeland that they haven’t known in years.El Salvador is the fourth country that, under the Trump Administration, is losing protection under the safe haven program that was created to provide humanitarian relief for people whose countries were stricken by earthquakes, floods, hurricanes, war and other disasters.
El Salvador contributes the largest share of Temporary Resident Protections (TPS) residents in the United States. Salvadorans first received TPS in 1990 following a brutal civil war in their country. The program expired in 1994, but after deadly earthquakes destroyed hundreds of thousands of homes and killed more than 1,000 people in 2001, President George W. Bush renewed the protection and allowed more than 150,000 Salvadorans to live and work in the US legally. The Obama administration continuously extended the program.
Adverse Effects of the Decision Will Be Felt By Immigrants and U.S. Citizens Alike
Over 200,000 Salvadoran immigrants have until September 9, 2019, to find alternatives to obtaining legal immigration status or leave the country. Many of these individuals have been major contributors to the well-being of communities across the U.S and adverse effects are likely to be faced due to the decision.
Corrosion of family ties
The average Salvadoran TPS holder has been in the U.S. for 20 years. There are about 190,000 US-born, citizen children whose parents are Salvadoran. If parents are deported, many children and other family members who are U.S. citizens will be left behind.
Loss of employment
Most of the immigrants contribute to the economy through skilled labor. Others have established their own businesses. The decision will cause unnecessary burdens for businesses who depend on these workers and for workers who will be displaced when Salvadoran companies are shut down.
Danger Lurks At Home
El Salvador has one of the highest homicide rates in the world. This factor has inhibited job creation and investment. Salvadorans who go back to their home country will likely struggle to find employment and safe housing, and their families may face dangerous conditions.