United States cancels TPS for El Salvador

What was so feared has happened. The U.S. government will cancel the Temporary Protected Status (TPS) program for El Salvador.

The decision means that approximately 200,000 Salvadorans currently covered by TPS will lose the right to live and work legally in the United States and will be subject to deportation if they do not find another legal way to remain in the country.

The ad was made today, marking 60 days before the expiration of the program for El Salvador. This is the date by which the U.S. Department of Homeland Security (DHS) had to give notice whether to extend or eliminate the program to allow time for Salvadorans to prepare and re-enroll in the program.

Currently, TPS for Salvadorans is set to expire on March 9, 2018. But the government granted an 18-month window - until September 9, 2019 - to give Salvadorans time to complete paperwork to remain in the United States or prepare to return home if they do not qualify for another immigration benefit. Salvadorans in TPS will have to re-register for the program to take advantage of the 18-month extension.

Reason for the termination of TPS for El Salvador

It has been 17 years since the United States granted TPS for El Salvador, following the earthquakes of January and February 2001 that affected the country.

DHS says it conducted an extensive assessment of the situation in El Salvador and determined that the conditions related to those natural disasters that were the basis for the TPS designation no longer exist. It also assessed the country's ability to receive Salvadorans abroad and found that El Salvador has been able to effectively repatriate more than 39,000 in the past two years, so it will be able to receive those whose TPS has been terminated.

In a press releasethe DHS indicated:

"Following the 2001 earthquake, El Salvador received a significant amount of international aid for its recovery efforts, including millions of dollars for emergency and long-term assistance. Many reconstruction projects have been completed. Schools and hospitals damaged by the earthquakes have been rebuilt and repaired, houses have been rebuilt, and money has been provided for water and sanitation and to repair roads and other earthquake-damaged infrastructure. The substantial disruption to living conditions caused by the earthquake no longer exists."

According to DHS, since the conditions that were the basis for the TPS designation no longer exist, they must comply with the law and terminate it.

As the name of the program indicates, it is a temporary benefit. It was anticipated that someday that relief would come to an end. President Trump's administration began eliminating and reducing TPS for other countries last year.

In November 2017, DHS eliminated TPS for Nicaragua and Haiti and only extended the program for Honduras for an additional six months, instead of the 18 months they had been granted in recent years.

Consult with an immigration attorney as soon as possible to evaluate your legal options for permanent residency.