TPS Is a Lifeline for Many Salvadoreans

The Donald Trump Administration announced the end of temporary protected status for Salvadorans on Monday.The program, according to the Congressional Research Service, "provides temporary lawful status to foreign nationals in the United States from countries experiencing armed conflict, natural disaster, or other extraordinary circumstances that prevent their safe return."El Salvador fits uniquely in that category, and rescinding TPS status could be harmful and even deadly for people leading productive lives in the U.S.TPS for Salvadorans was initiated by the Bush Administration because, according to the U.S. code: "El Salvador suffered a devastating earthquake on January 13, 2001, and experienced two more earthquakes on February 13 and 17, 2001. Based on a thorough review by the Departments of State and Justice, the Attorney General has determined that, due to the environmental disaster and substantial disruption of living conditions caused by the earthquakes, El Salvador is 'unable, temporarily, to handle adequately the return' of its nationals." More than 200,000 people were granted TPS.Those Salvadorans have made lives here in the United States. Some estimates show that 97 percent over age 24 are employed and pay taxes. Most own their homes. They have also given birth to 192,000 children, all U.S. citizens, according to the Center for Migration Studies. The end of TPS will disrupt all of those lives.The turmoil in El Salvador did not begin with the earthquakes, however. El Salvador was rocked by a violent civil war, where the Salvadorian military was largely funded by the United States during the Cold War. The United States trained their secret police in torture techniques at the School of the Americas. We have culpability in the instability of their country. Those of us who were pro bono lawyers in the 1980s remember the stories of people fleeing that war. The violence has not ended, however, and now consists of unrelenting gang violence.  Continue reading...

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