Hundreds of local El Salvadorans could be deported under Trump's decision
More fallout tonight over a potential change in immigration status for 200,000 El Salvadorans who've been living in the U.S. for nearly two decades. The Trump administration is ending temporary protected status for nearly 200,000 people from El Salvador who have been allowed to live and work in the U.S. since a pair of earthquakes struck their country in 2001.
The Michigan Immigration Rights Center estimates hundreds of El Salvadorans living in West Michigan could lose their temporary immigration status and be forced to return to their homeland by next year.
“Unfortunately our immigration system is so complex and understanding of it is so limited, I think a lot of people are going to suffer greatly because of this decision,” said Susan Reed, managing attorney for the Michigan Immigrant Rights Center.
Sandra Calderon-Huzo is a Kalamazoo resident who was born in El Salvador and came to United States in 1983 after her family was granted political asylum. “We were all kidnapped, and then separated. My father was jailed as a political prisoner, my siblings and myself all spent time in an orphanage, but then we were all able to flee the country together,” Calderon-Huzo said
Calderon-Huzo is not a U.S. citizen, but has lived in the country on a permanent resident status, which expires in 2019. She worries if her status will be extended.
“I have people who are worried for me and sometimes that makes things more of a reality,” Caldron-Huzo said.
Her fears became heightened after the Trump administration announced its ending protections for nearly 200,000 people from El Salvador who have been allowed to live and work in the U.S. since a pair of earthquakes struck their country in 2001.
Monday’s decision will remove the residency and work permits of those 200,000 El Salvadorans by September 2019.
“They’ve lived in the united states, built their lives here, they've built their family here, taken jobs here, they've contributed to the economy,” said Daniel Inquilla, a Kalamazoo based immigration attorney.
The Trump administration has now terminated temporary status for four countries including Haiti and Nicaragua. Daniel Inquilla, an immigration attorney says he has multiple clients from those countries who are forced to try to gain legal protection. He says the path to legal protection for those immigrants is proving to be tough.
“If congress doesn't act and these programs come to an end within a year or so, they may not have other options,” Inquilla said.
The Michigan Immigrant Rights Center, a non-profit organization, recommends anyone unsure of their status of a U.S. citizen seek legal aid.
“Every person really needs a deep individual review of their immigration history and their current situation to see if there is a way to make their status more stable or permanent in the absence of temporary permanent status,” Reed said.