The Trump Administration has announced that it is extending for a full year the Temporary Protected Status program for more than 200,000 Salvadorans currently living in the U.S.
Although the White House had earlier moved to remove that status from the Salvadorans, which include an estimated 37,000 people working in the nation’s construction industry, the new policy announced by the Department of Homeland Security establishes January 1, 2021 as the expiration date of the status program for Salvadorans.
In a statement, Homeland Security said the administration’s intention is to “create an orderly and responsible process to repatriate Salvadorans and help them return home.”
The statement further noted that given the large number of Salvadorans who would be forced to return to their native country should the protected status be ended anytime soon, there was a potential for “another mass migration to the U.S.” that would “reinvigorate the crisis at the southern border.”
Stephen Sandherr, chief executive officer of the Associated General Contractors of America, said the decision to provide the Salvadorans with protection for one more year “means thousands of development and infrastructure projects across the country will not be put at immediate risk.”
Sandherr added that the sudden loss of 37,000 Salvadoran workers during a time when “80 percent of construction employers struggle to find qualified workers” would be severe.
The Trump Administration’s new announcement is the result of talks between U.S. and Salvadoran government officials and an agreement designed to see the two countries working together on enhanced border security matters.
By Garry Boulard
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