A new immigration policy by President Donald Trump will place in peril the residency status of roughly 200,000 Salvadoran immigrants.
The Salvadoran immigrants were granted Temporary Protected Status in 2001 after El Salvador was devastated by an earthquake, according to The Washington Post. That status had been periodically renewed by presidents and congressional majorities from both parties until this year, when the Trump administration decided to revoke it on the grounds that conditions in El Salvador had improved. In their announcement, however, the Department of Homeland Security left open a window for Democrats to reverse that decision.
"Only Congress can legislate a permanent solution addressing the lack of an enduring lawful immigration status of those currently protected by TPS who have lived and worked in the United States for many years. The 18-month delayed termination will allow Congress time to craft a potential legislative solution," the statement read.
In addition to the 200,000 Salvadorans who risk deportation, Trump's rescinding of TPS status for those immigrants could also impact the lives of the 190,000 children who were born in the United States from Salvadoran immigrant parents.
The fight over the status of the Salvadoran immigrants is part of a larger struggle with congressional Democrats over immigration policy in general. Last week, Sen. Dick Durbin, D-Ill., denounced the Trump administration's effort to include harsh new anti-immigrant measures in its deal to protect Dreamers as both ideologically radical and likely to lead to a government shutdown, according to Politico.
"President Trump has said he may need a good government shutdown to get his wall. With this demand, he seems to be heading in that direction. It’s outrageous that the White House would undercut months of bipartisan efforts by again trying to put its entire wish list of hardline anti-immigrant bills — plus an additional $18 billion in wall funding — on the backs of these young people," Durbin said in a statement.