Administration Terminates Protected Status for Salvadorans

Communications Assistant

January 8, 2018

WASHINGTON, D.C. — Today the Department of Homeland Security announced that it is ending protections for Salvadorans who sought refuge in the U.S. following El Salvador’s 2001 earthquakes.

The decision affects more than 260,000 Salvadorans in the country with Temporary Protected Status (TPS), who make up the largest share of TPS recipients. Additionally, more than half of Salvadoran TPS beneficiaries have resided in the U.S. for 20 years or more. The U.S. Department of State currently has a Travel Warning in effect for El Salvador, citing widespread gang violence and one of the highest homicide levels in the world.

Following the initial designation in 2001, El Salvador’s TPS has been extended several times as more recent challenges, including widespread violence and poverty, prevent recipients from safely returning. The termination will take effect on Sept. 9, 2019, giving current beneficiaries 18 months to arrange for departure or seek alternative immigration status.

Business and faith leaders are among the groups that also had encouraged an extension, and mayors from 19 cities signed a letter asking for an extension for El Salvador last Wednesday.

“This is a deeply disappointing decision that will not only disrupt the lives of TPS recipients and their families, but devastate the local economies they have contributed to for years,” said Ali Noorani, Executive Director of the National Immigration Forum. “Congress has a responsibility to act in the best interest of our nation by legislating a permanent solution that allows current TPS holders to contribute fully without fear of deportation.”