The Center for American Progress estimates that the Salvadoran TPS holders in Texas have about 42,500 USA citizen children.
Salvadorans make up the largest portion of individuals covered by so-called temporary protected status, which shields about 320,000 people in the US from deportation, according to the Congressional Research Service.
Secretary Kirstjen Nielsen said on Monday that damage inflicted by a 2001 natural disaster in the Central American country didn't justify another temporary extension. "Nielsen has told 200,000 of our friends, neighbors, and colleagues -people who sought safety in the United States and have had full permission to build lives here for almost 17 years - that they have 18 months to pack their bags and return to El Salvador, a country that is plagued by the highest homicide rate in Latin America, a 95 percent impunity rate, and escalating human rights abuses".
The Salvadoran immigrants who see their protected status expire will be forced to confront a complex web of federal immigration policy, and have very few options to remain in the United States.
Salvadorans, who were granted TPS after a series of earthquakes in their Central American homeland in 2001, not only made up the largest immigrant group under TPS, but they constitute the largest immigrant community on Long Island.
But the Trump administration has taken a stricter approach, saying the law government TPS only allows the status as long as the home country is still recovering.
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Washington granted TPS to tens of thousands of Salvadorans in 2001, following a 7.6 magnitude quake in El Salvador that killed 944 people and injured over 5,500. The economy is in part based on people working in the United States and other countries sending money back to family and loved ones.
Salvadorans are the largest group by far with temporary protected status.
Ali Noorani, executive director of the National Immigration Forum, called on Congress to offer a permanent solution for current TPS holders and protect them from deportation. Homeland Security Secretary Kirstjen Nielsen faced a Monday deadline to decide whether to grant another extension.
The five leading industries in which TPS beneficiaries from these countries work are: construction (51,700), restaurants and other food services (32,400), landscaping services (15,800), child day care services (10,000), and grocery stores (9,200).
Salvadoran immigrant Orlando Zepeda, who came to the U.S.in 1984 to flee civil war, said he wasn't surprised by Monday's decision given the administration's position on other countries. Trump said in September that he was ending Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals, or DACA, but gave Congress until March to act. Critics say it has proved anything but temporary - with many beneficiaries staying years after the initial justification applies.
"Getting them to a permanent solution is a much better plan than having them live six months to 12 months to 18 months", she told the AP. She delayed a decision affecting more than 50,000 Hondurans, foisting the decision onto Nielsen.
"It's sad, because it's the same story of family separation from that time, and now history repeats itself with my children", Zepeda said in Spanish.
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