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Temporary Protected Status program suffers under Trump

Immigrants come to America for numerous reasons, but sometimes they feel forced to leave by conditions in their home country. While political instability has brought refugees to the U.S., natural disasters have historically demolished countries to the point that recovery takes decades.

Such was the case for El Salvador, which suffered earthquakes that destroyed its infrastructure and economy. As a result, the U.S. government allowed El Salvador’s displaced citizens to continue life in America. That protection, however, could be over.

President Trump recently declared that Temporary Protected Status (TPS) will end for Salvadorans in March, forcing nearly 200,000 people to vacate the country. Government officials justified their decision based on the progress that El Salvador has made toward recovery. Criticism of this decision argues that El Salvador is not ready to support citizens yet.

Observers worry that this isn’t the only group targeted for deportation. Because President Trump’s administration already ended TPS for Haiti and Nicaragua, a pattern may be forming. Honduras could be the next country to lose TPS in July. This places thousands of immigrants in a difficult situation. Must they pack up now, after living for decades in America, and move to an unfamiliar country? Or can they find another way to stay in their home and community?

Unfortunately, the issue with TPS is in the name. It’s temporary. When the government granted TPS, it knew that America could back out eventually. However, temporary immigrants can still seek several forms of permanent residency for themselves and their family to stay in the country. Congress could still overrule the ending of TPS and grant an extension, but immigrants should nevertheless begin planning strategically for their future.

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