200,000 Salvadorans have had their provisional residency permits cancelled by Trump

The Salvadorans will have until September 9, 2019, to either leave the country or find a legal way to stay

Published January 8, 2018 1:24PM (EST)

Immigration rally in Portland, Ore., Monday, Feb. 27, 2017 (AP Photo/Don Ryan)
Immigration rally in Portland, Ore., Monday, Feb. 27, 2017 (AP Photo/Don Ryan)

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.

By Matthew Rozsa

Matthew Rozsa is a professional writer whose work has appeared in multiple national media outlets since 2012 and exclusively at Salon since 2016. He specializes in covering science and history, and is particularly passionate about climate change, animal science, disability rights, plastic pollution and a wide range of political issues. He has interviewed many prominent figures (reflecting his diverse interests) including President Jimmy Carter (1977-1981), Israeli Prime Minister Ehud Barak (1999-2001), animal scientist and autism activist Temple Grandin, inventor Ernő Rubik, epidemiologist Monica Gandhi, theoretical cosmologist Janna Levin, mRNA vaccine pioneer Katalin Karikó, philosopher of science Vinciane Despret, actor George Takei ("Star Trek"), Democratic vice presidential nominee Joe Lieberman (2000), Ambassador Michael McFaul (2012-2014), economist Richard Wolff, director Kevin Greutert ("Saw VI"), model Liskula Cohen, actor Rodger Bumpass ("SpongeBob Squarepants"), Senator John Hickenlooper (2021-present), American Public Health Association Executive Director Georges Benjamin (2002-present), comedian Bill Burr ("F Is for Family"), comedian David Cross ("Scary Movie 2") and right-wing insurrectionist Roger Stone.

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Dick Durbin Donald Trump El Salvador Temporary Protected Status