The Department of Homeland Security announced on Monday that it would not renew the Temporary Protected Status (TPS) that had been granted to more than 200,000 people of El Salvador residing in the US. Said status had been conceded after the devastating earthquakes that hit the Central American country in 2001, which killed more than a thousand people and left many others without a home. Salvadoreans now have until September 2019 to find a legal way to stay or they will be forced to leave, even though most of them have lived and worked in the US for the last two decades.
Even though the TPS was originally intented to last 18 months, officials from successive administrations have considered that the situation in El Salvador hadn’t improved sufficiently for migrants to return to the country. However, the Trump Administration now believes that conditions have progressed enough for migrants to return. One government official praised the importance that “international aid” has had on the “reconstruction projects” which have taken place in the poverty-stricken country.
Those opposed to the decision by the DHS have called for Congress to act fast and to offer a permanent solution to Salvadoreans residing in the United States. Other activists have emphasized the high level of violence and poverty which still affects the Central American country. The departure of these people from the US could divide many families, while it is important to consider that money earned and sent back to families in El Salvador makes a valuable contribution to the country’s economy.