On January 6th, 2018, the Los Angeles Times reported on the Trump Administration’s intentions to bring an end to Temporary Protected Status of approximately 200,000 Salvadoran immigrants. Currently, there is much confusion surrounding this abrupt and extremely unfortunate decision by the administration. In this article, our Los Angeles immigration lawyers seek to provide clarity regarding what the end of TPS means for affected Salvadorans and their family members in Southern California.
What is Temporary Protected Status?
The United States Department of Homeland Security (DHS) has the authority to declare that another country is eligible for Temporary Protected Status. This is done when conditions in that country are such that it would not be safe or prudent for the United States government to return people to that country. In turn, when this designation is applied, United States Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) can grant TPS status to individuals from the designated country who are already present within the United States. When granted, this status gives these individuals legal authorization to live and work in this country.
El Salvador and Temporary Protected Status
In January of 2001, El Salvador was rocked by a massive earthquake. This natural disaster was devastating; more than 1,100 people were killed and more than 1 million people were displaced. The total economic damage exceeded $2.8 billion. As part of its response, the Bush Administration granted TPS status to more than 200,000 Salvadorans who were present in the United States when the earthquake hit. This status was granted on an 18-month basis. Since this time, both the Bush Administration and the Obama Administration renewed these TPS protections several different times.
A recent report from Refugees International found that the conditions on the ground in El Salvador strongly merited continued renewal of the TPS program. However, unfortunately, the Trump Administration has ignored these and other recommendations. Instead, officials are moving to end the program. As things currently stand, Salvadorans who were covered by TPS will lose their status in September of 2019.
What Options are Available for the People Who Were Protected Under the Program?
Sadly, the sudden end of TPS leaves Salvadorans who were covered by the program with relatively few options. Some people who were covered by TPS may be eligible to obtain a green card and remain in the U.S. under another immigration program. Anyone affected by this decision should consult with a qualified immigration attorney who can help them assess their specific options.
Yet, unfortunately, these immigration options may not be available to everyone. Many people may be forced to live in the shadows in order to remain in the United States. The power to reverse this unwise and unjust decision lies in the hands of the administration. Political pressure should be applied to protect the rights of immigrants and their families.
Get Immigration Law Help in Southern California
At the Law Office of Joshua L. Goldstein, PC, our legal team is committed to protecting the legal rights of immigrants in Southern California. If you have any questions about the end of TPS for immigrants originated from El Salvador, or any other immigration law issue, please call us today at (213) 262-2000 to schedule a fully confidential legal consultation.