Sophomore Jennifer Sanchez had an immediate and fearful reaction to the Trump Administration’s decision to end temporary protected status (T.P.S.) for roughly 200,000 Salvadorans.
Sanchez’s mother has had a stable job for more than ten years in the U.S. Now, in the wake of the end of T.P.S., Sanchez strongly disagrees with Trump’s decision and advocates that Trump should open his mind to the lives he has impacted.
This comes 17 years after a devastating earthquake that killed more than 1,100 people and left 1.3 million displaced. Many homes, neighborhood and towns were destroyed.
According to the Washington Post, T.P.S. is a humanitarian program established by Congress in the Immigration Act of 1990. Its purpose is to grant protection for those whose countries have been drastically impacted by war or natural disasters.
T.P.S. can be extended if the situation of a country is ongoing and is too dangerous to return.
This was granted to Salvadoran immigrants, who have been in the United States since February 2001. T.P.S. protects Salvadoran immigrants from deportation and allows them to have work permits.
In these 17 years, Salvadorans with T.P.S. have been active in America’s economy by paying taxes and creating homes and families in the U.S. Some of those that have done so include the families members of students.
Not only are they contributing to the U.S. economy, but also the economy in El Salvador. In 2016, $4.6 billion was sent to El Salvador from U.S. family members. This makes up 17 percent of El Salvador’s economy.
According to CNN, by the end of 2016, there were 263,282 Salvadoran registered to T.P.S.
In almost two decades, many have children born in America and will decide whether to leave them in the U.S. or take them to El Salvador.
According to The Washington Post, of the Salvadorans with T.P.S., there are 190,000 U.S.-born children.
Junior Nathaly Martinez is not personally affected by T.P.S., but has family members and friends that are impacted by President Donald Trump’s decision.
“I feel like this was a bad decision because the people that have been granted T.P.S. have been here for so long that they basically have their lives settled already,” Martinez said.
“Not just that, but many run businesses and have children that are U.S. citizens. They will be affected because their families will be separated. They’ll have to leave with their parents back to El Salvador. There aren’t big opportunities there as you’ll find here,” Martinez said.
Last year, Nicaraguans lost their protections and in December, the Trump administration announced the end of T.P.S for more than 45,000 Haitians who have resided in the U.S. after the 2010 earthquake.
“I hope that even though Trump’s administration ended T.P.S., they’ll put options out there for those who really deserve staying here, by giving them a more secure way of staying or helping them get residence,” Martinez said.
According to US Citizenship and Immigration Services, about 435,000 people from 10 countries have T.P.S.
“Hispanics have started businesses and it’s not fair that they’ll have to throw it all away all because of Trump’s dumb ideas,” Sanchez said.
Since 2001, the George W. Bush and Obama administrations renewed T.P.S. several times. The reasoning for the renewal was that El Salvador was unstable and unsafe with rising gang violence and poverty.
“[Trump] says he has a problem with illegal immigrants, but he obviously is against all Hispanics. Also, I don’t think that enough people are aware of this situation and should tell others about it,” Sanchez said.
Days earlier, Trump rejected a bipartisan deal on the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) programs. His one condition to protecting immigrants is by building a wall. However, Democrats disapprove Trump’s desire to increase border security.
Democrats are unwilling to compromise unless the spending bill will protect nearly 800,000 young undocumented immigrants who were protected by DACA.
This request came after Trump announced to discontinue DACA and gave recipients until March to leave when the protection ends.
Alongside the end of T.P.S, Trump is looking to end the Diversity Lottery program, also known as green card lottery, that annually offers 50,000 visas to the countries where few people immigrate from. Trump has called this program the “Democrat Lottery System.”
“Just because he made it official that he’s going to cancel it, there’s a chance that if enough people get involved, he could change his mind and save over three hundred thousand people from leaving their home,” Sanchez said.
The Trump Administration has given Salvadorans with T.P.S. until September 2019, to situate themselves elsewhere outside of the United States.
Those who decided to remain in the U.S. illegally will not only live with the fear of deportation but lose their jobs.