Washington D.C., Apr 13, 2018 / 15:14 pm
A group of prominent Church officials from El Salvador visited the United States this week to urge a reconsideration of recent changes to immigration policy.
In January 2018, the Department of Homeland Security terminated the Temporary Protected Status (TPS) that was granted to El Salvador in 2001, following a massive earthquake in the country. TPS is granted for countries who are experiencing an ongoing armed conflict, an environmental disaster, or "other extraordinary and temporary conditions that prevent people from safely returning home to the country."
Citizens of countries with TPS are generally shielded from being deported if they are found to be in the country illegally. The Trump administration has also recently terminated TPS for Haiti, Sudan, and Nicaragua.
If nothing changes prior to Sept. 9, 2019, about 200,000 Salvadorans will have to leave the United States, presumably to return to El Salvador. In addition to the Salvadorans protected under TPS, there are an estimated 270,000 U.S. citizen children who have been born to these people over the last decade and a half. The bishops were concerned that the termination of TPS would force these families of mixed immigration status to be torn in half.