While many immigrants enter the U.S., every year seeking new opportunities, improved quality of life and shelter from dangerous exposure in their homeland, achieving citizenship is not for the weary. Acquiring citizenship status in the United States and Illinois requires time, effort and commitment to carefully following all designated protocols for approval. Recent changes to several laws under President Trump’s administration has complicated this process for those seeking to make a living on U.S. soil. 

A recent announcement by the Department of Homeland Security provided insight into Trump’s decision to end Temporary Protected Status for nearly 200,000 El Salvadoran immigrants who currently live in the United States. The decision means that Salvadoran immigrants who were awarded this status as early as 2001 are required to leave the U.S. by September 2019. Those who choose to stay will be listed as undocumented immigrants and will be facing deportation. 

In 2001, after a couple of deadly earthquakes that paralyzed much of the country and left thousands dead, TPS was awarded to offer necessary assistance and protection for vulnerable Salvadorans. During the Bush and Obama administrations, this privilege was extended approximately every 18 months. Officials alluded that cartel violence and economic instability warranted an extension of the original decision. Trump’s administration argues that conditions in El Salvador have improved significantly and is fit for the return of all those who were originally displaced. The Salvadoran Embassy in Washington has provided research that estimates that nearly 97% of Salvadorans granted TPS are aged 24 or above. Many own their own homes and pay taxes meaning a permanent displacement could be damaging to their independence. Bipartisan groups have recommended that governmental officials find another solution to allow Salvadoran immigrants to remain in the country. 

For immigrants who are working towards citizenship or experiencing the consequences of recent changes to immigration law, they may wish to enlist the help of a qualified attorney. This decision may enable them to overcome challenges with the guidance of an experienced legal professional. 

Source: kvue.com, “Trump to order 200,000 Salvadorans to leave U.S.,” Alan Gomez, Jan. 8, 2018