Almost two months after President Donald Trump revealed that the US would end immigration protections for 45,000 Haitian refugees who’ve been living in the states since the devastating 2010 earthquake that rocked the Haitian side of the island of Hispaniola.
The decision was reportedly made to appease immigration hard-liners who insist the program was never intended to grant permanent residency to Haitians who were displaced by the quake.
And in a stunning follow-up to that decision, the New York Times reported Monday that the administration plans to end protections for 200,000 people from El Salvador who’ve lived in the US for more than a decade.
Veronica Lagunas and her daughter Angie at their home in California.
The Times described the decision as “one of the most consequential to date” concerning Trump’s approach to tightening restrictions on legal immigration while simultaneously cracking down on illegal immigration. Since he’s taken office, there’s been a notable drop in the number of illegal border crossings.
Salvadorans are the largest group of foreigners benefiting from the temporary protected status. Back in September, Trump ended protections for 800,000 undocumented immigrants who were brought to the US as children – the so-called DREAMers.
The officials, who declined to be identified because they were speaking before an official announcement on the decision later Monday morning, said that the administration was ending a humanitarian program, known as Temporary Protected Status, for Salvadorans who have been allowed to live and work legally in the United States since a pair of devastating earthquakes struck their country in 2001.
Salvadorans were by far the largest group of foreigners benefiting from temporary protected status, which shielded them from deportation if they had arrived in the United States illegally. The decision came just weeks after more than 45,000 Haitians, the second largest group, lost protections granted after Haiti’s 2010 earthquake, and it suggested that others in the program, namely Hondurans, may soon lose them as well. Nicaraguans lost their protections last year.
The administration is arguing that the Temporary Protected Status program had turned into a quasi-permanent benefit for hundreds of thousands of foreign residents who relied on it. Trump’s decision to end the protections has alarmed the El Salvadoran community, and companies in California and Texas that employ large populations of the El Salvadoran migrants affected by the decision.
TPS was signed into law in 1990 by President George Bush. It granted protected status to individuals …read more