President Trump said in an address to Congress last Tuesday that illegal immigration threatens the job prospects of American citizens. U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services, however, will extend work permits for six months on Monday for hundreds of thousands of illegal immigrants from El Salvador who receive Temporary Protected Status (TPS).
El Salvador is currently one of 13 countries whose citizens are eligible to receive TPS. This designation made by the secretary of homeland security is for countries whose circumstances have been deemed too dangerous for its residents to return to.
Recipients of TPS receive work permits, drivers’ licenses, access to certain welfare programs, social security, and protection from deportation. While it is meant to be temporary, nearly 60,000 Hondurans have been receiving TPS since 1999.
TPS lasts for 18 months, and it is up to the secretary of homeland security to renew the status. Last July, then-DHS Secretary Jeh Johnson extended TPS for an estimated 195,000 El Salvadorans. This was due to a bad recovery to a 2001 earthquake and high crime in the Central American country. The TPS status is set to expire in March 2018 and work permits are set to expire on Thursday.
Instead of letting these work permits expire, USCIS Acting Director Lori Scialabbais is authorizing the automatic extension of them through Sept. 9, 2017.
Mark Krikorian, executive director of the Center for Immigration Studies, told The Daily Caller: “TPS is a scam, but this notice seems routine — [U.S Citizenship and Immigration Services] can’t process the TPS renewals fast enough, so they’re extending the work permits so people whose renewals haven’t been processed yet don’t lose their work authorization in the interim.”
The White House has overall been enacting Trump’s tough-on-immigration campaign promises. DHS has ordered the construction of a border wall and has removed constraints placed by the Obama administration on Immigration and Customs Enforcement agents. The Washington Post reported Friday that illegal immigrants have begun to leave the U.S. voluntarily.
The president, however, has yet to rescind President Obama’s executive amnesty protecting around 750,000 illegal immigrants who arrived in the U.S. as children.