The Trump Administration is ending a program that extended temporary protected status to more than 200,000 people from El Salvador who fled after earthquakes rattled that nation in 2001.
Protestors set-up in front of the White House
Immigrants from El Salvador now have until September of next year to find a legal way to remain in the United States or face deportation.
White House officials say El Salvador has recovered enough from those 2001 quakes to remove the protection. Critics argue it’s inhumane to kick out people who have lived, worked and started families in the US for more than 15 years.
The Todec Legal Center, a local legal organization that serves migrant communities, is opposed to the move.
“Right now what we are telling the community is to continue preparing for the worst. Not only undocumented or people who have temporary status, but also legal permanent residents because it’s going to get bad. That’s why we’re advising all legal permanent residents to become legal citizens because at the end of the day that’s whats going to secure their stay in this country,” said Luz Gallegos, Community Programs Director at the Todec Legal Center.
Congress could intervene with a deal. Senators are debating potential immigration policy reforms.