U.S. Ends TPS Designation for Salvadoran Immigrants

  • Jan 26 2018

The Trump Administration recently announced that it will terminate the Temporary Protected Status (TPS) permits of nearly 200,000 Salvadorans who have been living in the United States since 2001. If you are at risk of losing your protected status, please contact our experienced immigration law attorneys.

What is Temporary Protected Status?

Temporary Protected Status (TPS) is a temporary status granted to eligible foreigners of designated countries affected by armed conflict or natural disaster. TPS allows these individuals to live and work in the country for a limited time period. Currently, about 320,000 people from ten countries, including EL Salvador, have temporary protected status.

The Plight of the Salvadorans

After the 2001 earthquakes in El Salvador, the affected immigrants were given temporary protected status. Their TPS permits have been renewed on an 18-month basis since then. The Department of Homeland Security (DHS) has given the Salvadorans until September 9, 2019 to leave the country or try to obtain a green card. Those that do not leave voluntarily or secure a green card face deportation.

This development is another in a series of steps taken by DHS to reduce the number of foreigners living in the U.S. In addition to expelling those who have come to the country illegally, DHS has also been tightening the flow of legal immigrants. In fact, the number of refugees allowed into the U.S. has been reduced to the lowest level since 1980. Meanwhile arrests by immigration enforcement agents are up by 40 percent.

Meanwhile, Democrat lawmakers and immigrant rights advocates have denounced the TPS decision concerning the Salvadoran immigrants, DHS officials deny that this is part of an anti-immigration agenda. Instead, they argue that conditions in El Salvador have improved, and that TPS designation is no longer warranted. The DHS said in a statement that “that the temporary inability of El Salvador to adequately return their nationals after the earthquake has been addressed.”

What about DACA?

Terminating the TPS status of the Salvadorans comes as the White House and Congressional lawmakers have reached an impasse on resolving the DACA issue. As we recently wrote in this blog (here), the lives of these undocumented immigrants who were protected under the Obama-era program hang in the balance. However, a federal judge in San Francisco recently ruled that nearly 690,000 DACA recipients must retain their work permits and protection from deportation while a lawsuit challenging the Administration’s decision to end the DACA program proceeds.

The Takeaway

Given the fact that the DHS has given the Salvadoran refugees until September 9, 2019 to leave or obtain a green card, this situation remains fluid. It is possible that a federal judge may move to block the DHS order. In the meantime, our immigration attorneys will continue to fight for the rights of foreign nationals who have been granted a TPS permit.

Posted in: Immigration Law