GREENSBORO , N.C. – The Department of Homeland Security announced that the Trump administration will end Temporary Protection Status (TPS) for 200,000 Salvadorans in the United States
The end of the program means that Salvadorans with TPS must return to their native country by September 2019 or become undocumented immigrants if they decide to stay without any legal protections.
The TPS program began in 2001 after devastating earthquakes hit Central America, killing 1,000 people and destroying more than 100,000 homes.
Due to El Salvador's slow recovery after the earthquakes and staggering drug cartel violence, presidents George W. Bush and Barack Obama extended the protections every 18 months.
The decision means that the Secretary of Homeland Security, Kirstjen Nielsen, concludes that conditions in El Salvador are safe for TPS holders to return to their country of origin.
According to the Center for American Progress, 320,000 people currently hold Temporary Protection Status in the United States from 10 countries, and that 90% of the holders are from El Salvador, Honduras and Haiti.
In North Carolina, 5,900 Salvadorans has TPS and 6,200 children in the state have TSP holding salvadoran parents.
5,100 workers in the state are Salvadorans with TPS, that if removed, would cause a loss of $256.8 million to the state's GDP.
El Center also estimates that Salvadoran TPS holders in North Carolina have lived in the United States for 20 years and that 1,900 pay mortgages.
La Salvadoran Embassy in Washington says that 97% of Salvadorans with TPS in the United States that are older than 24 years old are employed and pay taxes, and over half are homeowners.
This is not the first time the Department of Homeland Security announces the end of TPS for a group.
In November 2017, the Department announced the end of TPS for nearly 59,000 Haitians affected by the earthquake in 2010, and 5,300 Nicaraguans after Hurricane Mitch. Both groups must leave the U.S. by July 2019 and January 2019 respectively.
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