National Justice for Our Neighbors (NJFON) vehemently opposes the Trump Administration’s decision to revoke Temporary Protected Status (TPS) for El Salvador.
TPS has provided protection in the U.S. for nationals from certain countries for whom a return home is unsafe or unfeasible due to natural disaster or civil unrest. Salvadorans are by far the largest group of TPS recipients and were granted this relief after a pair of earthquakes in 2001. With the highest murder rate in the world, El Salvador remains extremely unstable. Moreover, those with TPS have built their lives and raised families here in the U.S. for more than 15 years.
Approximately 200,000 TPS holders from El Salvador will lose their status in September 2019, after which their lives will be upended and put in danger.
“This is the latest addition to the Administration’s appalling trend of expelling immigrants from our communities,” says NJFON Executive Director Rob Rutland-Brown. The announcement follows the cancellation of TPS for Haiti, Sudan, and Nicaragua, as well as termination of the Central American Minors (CAM) program that protected children fleeing violence in Central America.
“The Justice for Our Neighbors network has helped hundreds of Salvadoran TPS beneficiaries throughout the years with their applications and work permit renewals,” adds Rutland-Brown. “In doing so, we know they now face an impossible choice: whether to separate from their families, take their children into unsafe conditions in a country unknown to them, or retreat into the shadows of our communities.”
“The truth is, I feel very sad,” says Marco, a school custodian in Fairfax County, Virginia. Marco is a longtime JFON client and Salvadoran TPS holder. “I left El Salvador nearly 30 years ago because of the Civil War, and I have lived here all these years,” he explains. “I work day and night so my two children can have a good future. They were born here and this is their country. I wasn’t born here, but I feel like this is my country, too.”
NJFON believes in upholding human dignity, keeping families together and providing refuge to our most vulnerable neighbors. Therefore, we call upon Congress to act to protect vulnerable people and pass legislation that will allow TPS holders to obtain permanent legal status in the U.S.