Trump Admin Winds Down Temporary Protected Status For 200,000 El Salvadorans

Photo by Mark Wilson/Getty Images

Daily Caller News Foundation logo
Will Racke Immigration and Foreign Policy Reporter
Font Size:

The Department of Homeland Security is set to rescind protections for roughly 200,000 El Salvadoran nationals who have been living in the U.S. under a temporary relief program.

The Salvadorans will have until Sept. 9, 2019 to leave the U.S. or apply for another immigration benefit for which they may be eligible, administration officials said Monday. The 18-month delay is intended to give the Salvadorans a grace period to make travel arrangements and to help El Salvador prepare to reintegrate its citizens.

Under a designation known as temporary protected status (TPS), certain El Salvadoran nationals in the U.S., most of whom arrived illegally, can obtain protection from deportation and work permits. El Salvador originally received TPS directly from Congress in 1990 when the country was in the midst of a brutal civil war. The George W. Bush administration subsequently granted a TPS designation to El Salvador in 2001 after a series of earthquakes rocked the country.

DHS Secretary Kirstjen Nielsen determined that conditions in El Salvador have improved to the point where it is safe for TPS recipients to return, ending the need for continued relief, officials said. They pointed to the completion of recovery projects and an improving economy in El Salvador as evidence the country had fully recovered from the earthquakes.

The decision mirrors a similar determination the administration made in November, when it rescinded TPS for roughly 60,000 Haitians who had received protection following a major earthquake in Haiti in 2010. The Trump administration also canceled TPS for Nicaragua in November, giving roughly 2,500 Nicaraguan immigrants until January 2019 to leave the U.S. or apply for another immigration status.

In winding down the TPS designations, the Trump administration has stressed that the program is meant to provide temporary relief, not permanent residency or other long-term immigration status. The moves are consistent with the administration’s agenda to reduce levels of both legal and illegal immigration.

DHS officials said Monday that provisions of the Immigration and Nationality Act require the department to terminate a TPS designation absent ongoing armed conflict, natural disaster, or another “extraordinary” condition. A long-term solution for Salvadoran TPS beneficiaries would have to be crafted by lawmakers, officials said.

“Only Congress can legislate a permanent solution addressing the lack of an enduring lawful immigration status of those currently protected by TPS who have lived and worked in the United States for many years,” DHS said in a statement. “The 18-month delayed termination will allow Congress time to craft a potential legislative solution.”


Follow Will on Twitter

Send tips to will@dailycallernewsfoundation.org.

The Daily Caller News Foundation is working hard to balance out the biased American media. For as little as $3, you can help us. Freedom of speech isn’t free. Make a one-time donation to support the quality, independent journalism of TheDCNF. We’re not dependent on commercial or political support and we do not accept any government funding.

All content created by the Daily Caller News Foundation, an independent and nonpartisan newswire service, is available without charge to any legitimate news publisher that can provide a large audience. All republished articles must include our logo, our reporter’s byline and their DCNF affiliation. For any questions about our guidelines or partnering with us, please contact licensing@dailycallernewsfoundation.org.