Secretary of Homeland Security Kirstjen M. Nielsen announced her determination that termination of the Temporary Protected Status (TPS) designation for El Salvador was required pursuant to the Immigration and Nationality Act.
The designation will terminate on September 9, 2019.
"To allow for an orderly transition, the effective date of the termination of TPS for El Salvador will be delayed 18 months to provide time for individuals with TPS to arrange for their departure or to seek an alternative lawful immigration status in the United States, if eligible. Salvadorans in the United States who benefited from TPS may still receive other protections under our immigration system for which they are eligible," said a Department of Homeland Security statement.
After earthquakes hit the country in 2001, Salvadorans were granted Temporary Protected Status or TPS and their permits have been renewed on an 18-month basis since then.
The statement quoted Nielsen as saying, "The original conditions caused by the 2001 earthquakes no longer exist. Thus, under the applicable statute, the current TPS designation must be terminated."
The statement noted that the U.S. government has deported more than 39,000 Salvadorans in the past two years, demonstrating, it said, "that the temporary inability of El Salvador to adequately return their nationals after the earthquake has been addressed."
The largest group, nearly 700,000 who were protected under the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals program, will lose their legal status beginning in March.
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