Protected Immigration Status Ends for Salvadorans in the U.S.

Joaquin Godinez says he’s so firmly rooted in the U.S.A. with three U.S.-born children that a return to his native El Salvador will come only if the 45-year-old is ordered deported.Monday, the Trump administration announced it would end the provisional immigration status effective September 9, 2019. Godinez, a leader in a Dallas Salvadoran group, has held such “temporary protected status,” or TPS, for 18 years.The decision was the latest blow to immigrants. About 195,000 Salvadoran immigrants hold TPS nationally under provisions of a law that gave such status to those who are victims of civil war or natural disasters and other catastrophes that make it difficult to return home. About 8,000 of such Salvadorans live in North Texas. A much larger population lives in the Houston area. Hardliners pushing for a crackdown on both legal and illegal immigration have always emphasized that the “T” in TPS stands for temporary. Already such status has ended for three other countries.What options does Godinez and other TPS holders have?“For the most part, there will be no plan B,” says Dallas immigration attorney Paul Zoltan. “They will be here with no papers waiting for the other shoe to drop.”El Salvador, a country of about 6 million, is rife with gang violence, including killings and extortion that frequently hits the business class. Its homicide rates rank among the highest in the world.But certain Salvadorans received such status in 2001 after powerful earthquakes hit that country in 2001. TPS renewal has been granted 11 times.SUBHED:Salvadorans with TPS have had about 193,000 U.S. citizen children during those years, according to the New York-based Center for Migration Studies.Godinez and his wife Eva have children, ages 18, 15 and 13, and those children are front and center in their decisions moving forward. One child wants to be a musician, another a biologist and a third hopes to enlist in the U.S. Army. Godinez owns an auto body repair shop in Pleasant Grove.“It is sad that they want to send my children to a country where there are gangs, extortion, kidnappings, such violence,” he said. “They will have to deport me.”  Continue reading...

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