TPS Revoked For Thousands Of Salvadorans

As of January 2018, the Trump administration has revoked protected migratory status, which will affect thousands of immigrants in the U.S.


Daniel Lobo | Flickr

The decision to remove protected status will affect both migrants and the industries they work in. The construction industry is slated to be the most affected.

Jose Guzman, Staff Writer

As of recently, TPS has been ended for Salvadorans, putting over 200,000 people in danger of deportation.

TPS, meaning Temporary Protected Status, is given to victims of natural disasters, allowing them to live and work legally in the U.S. Over 200,000 Salvadorans were granted temporary protection in March 2001 after a 7.7 magnitude earthquake in January of the same year. Protection for Salvadorans ends on September 9, 2019, leaving TPS-protected individuals to either find migratory shelter with another program or face deportation. According to Homeland Security secretary Kirstjen Nielsen’s official press announcement, the reason for the termination is that “the original conditions of the 2001 earthquake no longer exist”.

The Department of Homeland Security has based their decision on the fact that El Salvador has received millions of dollars of international aid as well as emergency and long-term assistance. Most of the reconstruction projects in affected areas have been completed, with most infrastructural and sanitary systems being fully functional. In short, the earthquake affected areas have been completely rebuilt and are suitable for housing. The 18 month period before September 2019 is being used to create a “potential legislative solution.”

However, the ones who are affected by the termination propose a different argument. Many of the immigrants who rely on TPS have American-born children and other ties to America, such as owning businesses or homes. “There’s a lot of businesses that have immigrants working to help those businesses grow,” said Mr. Edward Adamson, business and technology teacher at Round Lake High School. “You take those people out of there, and some of these businesses are going to fail.” Also, many of the returned families would face the violence and economic hardships that plague El Salvador. Gang violence in El Salvador is at an all-time high after a brutal civil war. According to a 2016 statistic, over 5,000 murders occur every year in El Salvador. Unemployment is a massive problem in El Salvador, with many of the returning migrants having little to no chance of finding a job there.

Also, the termination of Salvadoran TPS also has unforeseen economic consequences. Many of the migrants staying in the U.S. regularly send money home in the form of remittances. According to a 2016 study, these payments rack up to an enormous $4.5 billion, which makes up 17% of the country’s Gross Domestic Product. Since this money ends up being circulated into almost every economic sector in El Salvador, this sudden financial loss would be a massive hit to the country’s already struggling economy. In the United States, $164 billion in economic growth will be lost due to the removal of a significant workforce as well as the loss of a marketing demographic. “We’re going to lose billions of dollars of production of goods and services,” said Adamson. “Most [immigrants] have jobs and are contributing to the country.” The biggest industry that TPS will hit is construction, as thousands of TPS workers are employed as both full-time and contract workers. In some smaller communities, the impact will also be noticed. “In higher [migrant] populated areas, they will feel the impacts more drastically,” said Adamson. “They will feel similar effects but more amplified than they are countrywide.” Many communities may end up losing millions of dollars as well as property value due to a large number of mortgages that might go into foreclosure with the deportations of TPS holders.

While there is still time until TPS is entirely revoked, there is still more work to be done. Changes can pop up suddenly to completely change the situation. But as of now, this is a dire situation that needs all the support it can get.”We’ll see cities that are going to fight this for as long as they can,” said Adamson. “They’ll fight it until there’s some legislation in place that doesn’t require everyone to leave.”