The Trump administration’s decision to end the Temporary Protected Status for nearly 200,000 people from El Salvador who have been allowed to live in the United States for more than a decade comes as no surprise, given President Trump’s attitude toward immigration and his past decisions to end protected status for Haitians and Nicaraguans. It’s the wrong decision, on humanitarian and practical grounds.
The T.P.S. program was approved in 1990 to allow undocumented foreigners who were in the United States when disaster struck their homeland to remain in the country until it was safe to return. The Salvadorans were granted protected status after a pair of devastating earthquakes in their land in 2001, and their status was extended several times by the George W. Bush and Obama administrations.
Technically, the Department of Homeland Security is right that the conditions created by those quakes no longer exist. But the reasons the Salvadorans, like the Haitians and Nicaraguans, should be allowed to stay far outweigh the technically legal reasons to send them home.
The humanitarian reasons those who escaped their quake-damaged homeland should be allowed to stay far outweigh the legal reasons to send them home.