On January 8, 2018, the US government announced that it would be ending Temporary Protected Status (TPS) for nationals of El Salvador.
Congress created TPS in the Immigration Act of 1990. It is a temporary immigration status provided to nationals of specific countries that are confronting an ongoing armed conflict, environmental disaster, or extraordinary and temporary conditions. It provides a work permit and stay of deportation to foreign nationals from those countries who are in the United States at the time the U.S. government makes the designation.
Countries may receive TPS for various reasons, such as :
El Salvador was designated for TPS after the devastating 2001 earthquakes TPS has been extended multiple times since the original designation, and the last period ends in March 2018. The status is now ending on September 19, 2019. Salvadorans with TPS must re-register for TPS and apply for Employment Authorization Documents in order to legally work in the United States until the terminations date of Sept. 9, 2019. Exact procedures for extending TPS have not been published, so stayed tuned to this blog for more information as it emerges.
According to the US statement:
Following the 2001 earthquake, El Salvador received a significant amount of international aid to assist in its recovery efforts, including millions of dollars dedicated to emergency and long-term assistance. Many reconstruction projects have now been completed. Schools and hospitals damaged by the earthquakes have been reconstructed and repaired, homes have been rebuilt, and money has been provided for water and sanitation and to repair earthquake damaged roads and other infrastructure. The substantial disruption of living conditions caused by the earthquake no longer exist.
The end of TPS will affect almost 200,000 Salvadoreans living across the US, forcing them to face possible deportation or separation from their families. Many of these Salvadorans have US citizen children who are eligible to stay in the US, but may be far too young to be separated from parents.
Salvadoreans with Temporary Protected Status are established in large numbers in California, Texas and around the US capital, Washington DC.
According to the Center for Migration Studies, they represent more than 135,000 households across the country, with a quarter of them home-owners. In addition,
Elaine Martin has been practising US and global immigration law since 1997. She is an immigrant herself (from Ireland), so has a special understanding of the legal and emotional challenges involved in relocating to a new country.