Salvadoran immigrants viewed the temporary protected status program, known as TPS, as a stepping stone to residency. With the Trump administration’s decision Monday to rescind the program, some 262,000 Salvadorans — many of them with U.S.-born children — have 20 months from now to decide whether to return to the small Central American country.
The Bush administration extended the special protections for Salvadorans in 2001, after two devastating earthquakes in El Salvador. But current administration officials say conditions in El Salvador have improved since then.
The Los Angeles Times says that advocates for the immigrants immediately protested, calling the decision needlessly cruel and a blow to the economies of both El Salvador and the U.S.
But Trump administration officials say that because previous administrations have frequently extended the temporary stays, the program has improperly been allowed to become an all-but-permanent refuge. They have been determined to roll it back.