The Trump Administration will terminate the Temporary Protected Status (TPS) of roughly 260,000 people from El Salvador living in the United States. This will tear apart families, disrupt entire communities, and send people back to a country not equipped to take them all to please his racist followers.
TPS allows people who flee countries impacted by war and natural disaster to temporarily reside in the US. TPS was created as part of the Immigration Act of 1990 and has been renewed routinely until now. Trump has been gutting the TPS as part of his anti-immigration program, increasing the numbers of those who will either have to return home, or adjust their immigration status.
About 435,000 people exist in the US under the protection of TPS, they hail from nine different countries ravaged by military conflict and intense natural disasters. Other countries under TPS include Haiti, Honduras, Nicaragua, Somalia, South Sudan, Sudan, Syria, Nepal and Yemen.
El Salvador is the fourth country targeted for termination. Trump is doling them out one at a time to keep feeding his white nationalist base treats. That’s the entire purpose of revoking TPS.
Kirstjen M. Nielsen, Secretary of Homeland Security, says her agency is delaying the termination for 18 months, until Sept. 9, 2019, to allow an “orderly” transition. A press release issued today by Homeland Security, claims that, “…the Secretary determined that the original conditions caused by the 2001 earthquakes no longer exist. Thus, under the applicable statute, the current TPS designation must be terminated.”
However, El Salvador, by many descriptions, is a country constantly poised for natural disaster. Hurricanes, earthquakes, torrential rain, landslides, flooding, and a number of active volcanoes create a dangerous environment that has caused waves of refugees to flee for their lives. A devastating 7.7 magnitude earthquake in January 2001 destroyed entire neighborhoods in El Salvador, killing more than 1100 and leaving 1.3 million human beings displaced. Salvadorians were granted TPS in the wake of that disaster, one of many they’ve faced in recent decades.
The Trump Administration once again, is disrupting human lives, while finding new ways to toss people out of the United States. It is no surprise, yet nonetheless tragic. Many Salvadorian families had children during their years here in the United States. They’ve contributed to the US economy, become part of America’s tapestry, and now their future is very uncertain.