SALT LAKE CITY (ABC4 Utah) – Some Salvadorans could soon face deportation.
This after President Trump ordered the Homeland Security Department to end
a humanitarian program in place since 2001.
Temporary Protected Status (TPS) allowed Salvadorans to live and work in the U.S. after a series of earthquakes in El Salvador in 2001. TPS was granted to some 260,000 immigrants who were not required to have legal documents.
Monday, the Trump administration announced an end to the program.
“I feel like it’s really unfair,” said Alex who was born in El Salvador and has lived in the U.S. for the past 13-years.
About 7,000 Salvadorans now live in Utah, according to the U.S. Census bureau. They represent the third largest minority in Utah. It’s unknown how many of those given protection will face deportation.
Alex, who didn’t want his last name revealed said El Salvador is not a safe place tolive.
“It’s really dangerous for them to just go to a place that they don’t know and are not going to fit in because even though they are Salvadorans, it’s really a dangerous place for anybody in general.”
Aden Batar head the Catholic Community Services immigration and refugee policy.
“El Salvador has the world’s largest homicide rate in the world today,” Batar said. “The Salvadoran government doesn’t have the infrastructure to deal with 200,000 people to be deported into their country today.”
Under this latest immigration directive by President Trump, Salvadorans have 18 months to either file new paperwork for legal status or be deported.
“I an scared about my future,” said a Salvadoran working at a local restaurant.
She is a target under this new policy and didn’t want to reveal her identity for fear of deportation.
“I don’t know what’s going to happen to my daughter,” she said.
The woman said her daughter was born in the U.S.
Batar said many of the Salvadorans under TPS, have lived in the U.S. for nearly two decades and have worked, paid taxes and raised children.
“Today’s announcement that the Department of Homeland Security terminating the TPS program for Salvadorans is heartbreaking because this really separates families.”