Salvadorans to lose protected status in the US

Salvadorans to lose protected status in the US

However, her announcement prompted outrage similar to what greeted Trump's decision to end DACA, the Obama-era program for children of immigrants in the usa illegally.

Salvadorans make up the largest portion of individuals covered by so-called temporary protected status, which shields about 320,000 people in the US from deportation, according to the Congressional Research Service.

Secretary Kirstjen Nielsen said Monday that damage inflicted by a 2001 quake in the Central American country didn't justify another temporary extension. The U.S. has been deporting tens of thousands of illegal immigrants to El Salvador over the last few years, which she concluded means the country is prepared to welcome back its citizens.

Salvadorans will have until September 2019 to leave or obtain other legal options to stay in the United States, according to the Washington Post.

. In January 2017, an estimated 325,000 migrants from 13 TPS-designated countries resided in the United States.

Salvadorans, who were granted TPS after a series of earthquakes in their Central American homeland in 2001, not only made up the largest immigrant group under TPS, but they constitute the largest immigrant community on Long Island.

Groups on the right that advocate for restricting immigration are pressing the Homeland Security Department to end the status for El Salvador, and were concerned during Nielsen's confirmation that she would be adequately hard-line in implementing President Donald Trump's immigration agenda.

Homeland Security also said more than 39,000 Salvadorans have returned home from the two years, demonstrating El Salvador's capacity to absorb people.

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The action also produces a serious challenge for El Salvador, a country of 6.2 million people whose economy counts on money sent by wage earners in the U.S. Over the past decade, growing numbers of Salvadorans - many coming as families or unaccompanied children - have entered the United States illegally through Mexico, fleeing violence and poverty.

Ali Noorani, executive director of the National Immigration Forum, called on Congress to offer a permanent solution for current TPS holders and protect them from deportation.

Two U.S. officials discussed the decision on condition of anonymity with The Associated Press because they were not authorized to speak publicly ahead of the announcement.

In ending the protections for other groups, the Homeland Security Department has urged outraged lawmakers to enact legislation rather than continue to force the secretary to make the decisions.

The country's top diplomat, Foreign Minister Hugo Martinez, said Monday's decision underscored a need for Congress to act before September 2019. The decision was heavily criticized by immigrant advocates who said it ignored violence in El Salvador, which has one of the world's highest murder rates.

The U.S. created Temporary Protected Status in 1990 to provide a safe haven from countries affected by earthquakes, floods, hurricanes, war and other disasters, and it now shields almost 320,000 people from 10 countries. Critics say it has proved anything but temporary - with many beneficiaries staying years after the initial justification. Spagat reported from San Diego.