Ending TPS Designation for El Salvador Contrary to Human Dignity and Life

Ending TPS Designation for El Salvador Contrary to Human Dignity and Life

The Trump Administration’s announcement today to terminate Temporary Protected Status for 200,000 Salvadorans who have lived in the U.S. at least since 2001, is cruel and harmful to families who may be torn apart and face violence and hardship.

Catholic Charities of the East Bay will continue to support the community by providing legal screenings to look for remedies that may be available. We provide high-quality immigration legal services provided by Board of Immigration Appeals accredited representatives and licensed immigration attorneys. People seeking help should call us at 510-768-3100 or visit www.cceb.org/our-services/immigration-legal-services/ for more information.

Temporary Protected Status (TPS) was offered by the Bush Administration after earthquakes devastated El Salvador in 2001. These permits for about 200,000 people from El Salvador have been reviewed and renewed every 18 months by Presidents Bush and Obama.

While the original conditions caused by the earthquakes may have changed over time, the reality is that El Salvador continues to struggle with gang violence and “is not in a position to adequately handle the return of nearly 200,000 TPS holders from the U.S.”, according to the results of a fact-finding delegation led by the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops (USCCB) in August 2017.

On December 20, 2017, a coalition of Catholic organizations including the USCCB Council on Migration, Catholic Charities USA, and Catholic Relief Services wrote to Secretary Kirstjen Nielsen of the Department of Homeland Security urging extension of TPS for El Salvador.

From the letter to Secretary Nielsen: And while the Church recognizes the right of nations to regulate their borders, this right must be exercised with justice and mercy and balanced with immigrants’ rights to human dignity and life.

And more from the letter:

The delegation’s trip report, Temporary Protected Status: A Vital Piece of the Central American Protection and Prosperity Puzzle,[3] shows that:

  • Entire families, not just children, currently face targeted violence;
  • Large numbers of people in El Salvador (approximately 220,000 – 400,000) are internally displaced, illustrating already existing safety issues and the growing humanitarian protection challenges; and
  • The Salvadoran government does not currently have the capacity to adequately handle the return of its TPS population. This is evidenced by its failure to address citizen safety and humanitarian concerns related to its large-scale internal displacement, as well as by its lack of an adequate reception, protection, and integration system for internally displaced people and annual returnees (52,560 in 2016).

Even according to the most recent Federal Register Notice extending TPS for El Salvador, the country suffers from widespread housing shortages, lack of access to clean water, disease and food insecurity as a result of the 2001 earthquakes and subsequent natural