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El Salvador TPS: 250,000+ immigrants could face deportation

They’ve lived legally within the United States for practically 20 years.

And time has practically run out for the Trump administration to determine their destiny.

The query officers should reply subsequent week: Should these immigrants from El Salvador be allowed to remain?

By Monday, the Department of Homeland Security should determine whether or not to increase or finish “temporary protected status,” or TPS, for Salvadorans.

Some fear the image appears bleak. The administration has already introduced plans to finish TPS for immigrants from a number of different international locations, together with Haiti, Nicaragua and Sudan. And officers have made no secret of their need to overtake the immigration system.

With a choice looming, this is a have a look at a few of the key occasions and points at play:

It began with an earthquake.

The 7.7-magnitude quake that struck El Salvador in January 2001 was the worst to hit the country in a decade. Then, two highly effective quakes shook the nation the next month.

Neighborhoods had been buried. Homes collapsed. More than 1,100 individuals had been killed. Another 1.three million had been displaced.

A woman sits beside her earthquake-destroyed home in Armenia, El Salvador, on January 29, 2001.
The devastation spurred a decision that March by then-US Attorney General John Ashcroft: Immigrants from El Salvador who’d been within the United States since February 2001 could apply for non permanent protected standing, which might shield them from deportation and permit them to get work permits. It was an 18-month designation.
Now, it has been practically 17 years. Time after time, officers from completely different administrations have decided conditions in El Salvador hadn’t improved enough for migrants with TPS to return. And the Trump administration has only a few days earlier than a deadline for deciding whether or not to increase it as soon as extra.
Estimates differ for precisely what number of immigrants the choice would have an effect on. There had been 263,282 Salvadoran TPS beneficiaries on the finish of 2016, in response to the newest statistics supplied to CNN by US Citizenship and Immigration Services. Activists and specialists have put the number of Salvadorans who could lose protections nearer to 200,000, noting that official statistics probably embrace people who find themselves now not in this system as a result of their immigration standing has modified or they’ve left the United States.
Immigrant rights advocates say it might be unfair and merciless to finish TPS for Salvadorans who’ve constructed lives, paid taxes, contributed to the economy and raised households for practically 20 years within the United States. They additionally argue that violence and widespread poverty make it unsafe for migrants to return to El Salvador.
Those who assist ending TPS for Salvadorans and different immigrants, such because the Federation for American Immigration Reform, say there’s a reason the designation was referred to as “temporary” and argue that circumstances in El Salvador are adequate for migrants to return.

Salvadoran immigration to the US has an extended historical past.

El Salvador is in regards to the dimension of New Jersey. And it is practically 2,000 miles from Washington.

But the small nation of 6.2 million individuals has develop into a giant deal within the US immigration debate.

Even earlier than the earthquakes, Salvadoran immigrants had been streaming into the United States. A significant driver: the nation’s civil struggle, which lasted from 1980 to 1992. Experts estimate the battle despatched greater than 25% of El Salvador’s residents fleeing for his or her lives. More than 330,000 Salvadorans got here to the United States between 1985 and 1990, according to the Migration Policy Institute.
And in recent times, whereas immigration from Mexico has slowed, the rate of immigration from El Salvador and other Central American countries has been on the rise.
About 465,000 of the Salvadoran immigrants residing within the United States are undocumented, according to an estimate from the Migration Policy Institute.
In the final 5 years, greater than 58,000 unaccompanied minors from El Salvador had been apprehended on the US-Mexico border, according to US Customs and Border Protection. And within the final fiscal yr, which led to September, greater than 24,000 Salvadoran dad and mom and youngsters touring collectively had been apprehended on the border.
A mother and her 3-year-old child from El Salvador await transport to an immigrant processing center after they crossed the Rio Grande into the United States on July 24, 2014.
El Salvador’s homicide price is without doubt one of the highest on the earth, and specialists have stated poverty and violence had been main factoring fueling the recent migration wave.

MS-13: A brand new Public Enemy No. 1

The Trump administration has repeatedly tied the youth apprehended on the border to the infamous Mara Salvatrucha gang, generally known as MS-13.

And Trump often invokes MS-13 as he vows to step up immigration enforcement.

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MS-13 is strongest in Central America, particularly El Salvador. But the gang truly started in Los Angeles within the 1980s, throughout one other wave of Salvadoran migration. Analysts say its offshoots in Central America took maintain when members had been deported by the US.

Immigrant rights teams say it is deceptive to make use of MS-13 as an excuse for any crackdown and observe that most of the gang’s victims are immigrants.

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