New York, New York — After staying in the United States for more than 15 years, 200,000 Salvadoran non-citizens, who were granted Temporary Protected Status when they came to this country after earthquakes damaged their houses back home, have been told they must leave the U.S. Kerry Bretz, Partner, Bretz & Coven, LLP, says this directive by President Donald J. Trump will hurt these protected individuals who have since contributed to this country.
In 2001, two earthquakes hit El Salvador, killing approximately 1,000 people and destroying more than 100,000 homes. Those Salvadorans who came to the U.S. were granted Temporary Protected Status by then-President George W. Bush. Both he and his successor, then-President Barack Obama, renewed the Salvadorans’ status every 18 months, citing the Central American country had still not stabilized yet from the disasters and ongoing violence from the drug cartels.
On January 8, 2018, President Trump announced that he is ending Temporary Protected Status for these non-citizens effective September 2019. He stated that, if they stay beyond the deadline, they will be considered illegal immigrants and face deportation. U.S. Homeland Security Secretary Kirstjen Nielsen said the country has since rebuilt from the earthquakes and it is no longer considered to be in a state of emergency.
“This measure affects thousands of Salvadoran non-citizens living on Long Island and the New York metropolitan area,” Mr. Bretz says. “Some may be eligible for other forms of relief, like the cancellation of removal or political asylum, but others already have final orders of removal. None of them have criminal histories, as it would have made them ineligible for the program. Temporary Protected Status has allowed them to work legally and pay taxes, as so many have done.”
For more information, call (212) 267-2555 or visit Bretz & Coven, LLP.