DHS to end protected status for El Salvador immigrants

DHS to end protected status for El Salvador immigrants

Secretary of Homeland Security Kirstjen Nielsen on Monday, announced [press release] the termination of the Temporary Protected Status [text] (TPS) for El Salvador.

The Department of Homeland Security (DHS) [official website] established this designation for over 200,000 Salvadorans after the El Salvador’s devastating earthquake in 2001.

Under the Immigration and Nationality Act [statute], Nielsen indicated that the TPS designation was to continue so long as original conditions from the 2001 earthquake continued. Upon research and investigation by the DHS and discussions with both the Salvadorian Foreign Minister, Ambassador to the United States, and President Sánchez Cerén these conditions were found to no longer exist.

After the 2001 earthquake, the international community provided millions of dollars to assist in the country’s recovery. The restoration and rebuilding projects are now completed. Houses and hospitals have been rebuilt as well as other roads and infrastructure restored.

This announcement follows the termination of TPS status for nearly 60,000 Haitians following the 2010 earthquake and the loss of protections for 2,500 Nicaraguans last year.

Immigration advocates and El Salvador’s government have urged the US to extend the program as it has in similar requests since 2001. The 200,000 Salvadorans have been living and working legally within the US for nearly two decades. In addition, between those originally granted TPS, they have had nearly 190,000 children.

The termination of El Salvador’s status will be delayed 18 months to allow El Salvador to prepare for the return of its citizens and to provide Salvadorans time to seek permanent lawful immigration procedures. In addition, the 18-month delay will provide Congress time to potentially formulate a permanent legislative solution for individuals with TPS.

Temporary Protected Status for El Salvador will officially terminate on September 9, 2019.