There are almost 200,000 immigrants from El Salvador living in Maryland who are now in danger of deportation after the Trump administration revoked their protected status this Monday. This Protected Status was granted to people whose homelands were hit with natural disasters or war. However, these Salvadoran immigrants are just the latest group to lose their Temporary Protected Status. This is just one of the latest reversal of immigration policies in the Trump administration and came weeks after Trump once again revoked the protection of 45,000 Haitians who came to America after the 2010 earthquake in Haiti. Other groups include Sudanese and Nicaraguans.
The Department of Homeland Security has said that it would end the protected status for Salvadorans completely on Sept. 9, 2019 because they believe that the conditions since the earthquake have been alleviated. “Schools and hospitals damaged by the earthquakes have been reconstructed and repaired, homes have been rebuilt, and money has been provided for water and sanitation and to repair earthquake damaged roads and other infrastructure,” the department said in a statement explaining its decision.
Salvadorans have been in the country for over a decade. Consider these stories below:
“We had hope that if we worked hard, paid our taxes and didn’t get in trouble we would be allowed to stay,” said Veronica Lagunas, 39, a Salvadoran who works overnight cleaning offices in Los Angeles, has two children born in the United States and owns a mobile home.
With his protected status, Carlos Jiron, another Salvadoran, started a small contracting business and won bids for big jobs, including to paint federal buildings in the Washington area. “We have built a life here,” said Mr. Jiron, 41, who lives with his wife and two American-born children in a four-bedroom house they bought in Springfield, Va. He will have to decide whether to take his children to El Salvador, where he says they would not maximize their potential and would face safety threats; leave them with guardians in the United States; or remain in the country at the risk of arrest and deportation as one of the millions of undocumented immigrants.
While the status of the Salvadoran immigrants and all the other groups that have lost their status has always been temporary, it is important to consider the effects. This is reminiscent of the way that Trump revoked the status of Dreamers, leaving people afraid and anxious for their future.
Photo: Lorie Shaull / Flickr