Washington - The Trump administration will announce on Monday it plans to end the Temporary Protected Status that has allowed 200 000 Salvadoran immigrants to remain in the United States, a US Senate aide said.
Under the plan, the legal status will be extended until September 9, 2019, the aide told Reuters. Salvadorans in the United States under the TPS programme will have until that date to leave or obtain other lawful residency.
The Trump administration has faced a series of deadlines over the past year to decide whether to end the protections for immigrants in the United States whose home countries have been affected by disasters. Administration officials have said TPS is supposed to provide a temporary haven for victims, not a permanent status in the United States.
Haitians and Nicaraguans will lose their protected status in 2019 and Hondurans could lose theirs later this year. South Sudanese immigrants' protected status was extended until May 2019.
Salvadorans are the largest group by far with temporary protected status. An estimated 200 000 Salvadoran immigrants have the protections, according to a November report by the Congressional Research Service. That is more than three times the number of people in the next largest group with protected status, Hondurans.
Critics have complained the TPS programme allows participants to repeatedly extend their stays in 6-month to 18-month increments in case of a natural disaster, civil strife or other emergencies in their homelands.
Homeland Security Secretary Kirstjen Nielsen recently met with El Salvador’s foreign minister and ambassador, and spoke by phone with the country’s president to discuss the issue.
A statement from the Department of Homeland Security was expected later on Monday.