Things That Matter

Trump Ends Temporary Protected Status For Salvadorans. Here’s What That Means

The Trump administration recently announced its plan to terminate the Temporary Protected Status of approximately 200,000 Salvadorans currently living in the United States, all but guaranteeing that many will face deportation.

Protesters at an Oakland rally to defend TPS for Salvadorans and many others at risk. Photo credit: Peg Hunter / Flickr

Temporary Protected Status (TPS) is granted by the secretary of the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) to eligible foreign-born individuals who cannot return to their birth country safely because of conditions or circumstances that can cause them harm. TPS was granted to Salvadorans after earthquakes ravaged El Salvador in 2001, and their permits have been renewed on an 18-month basis since that time.

DHS said that TPS for Salvadorans will end on Sept. 9, 2019, stating that conditions that led to the original designation are no longer applicable.

“Based on careful consideration of available information, including recommendations received as part of an inter-agency consultation process, the secretary determined that the original conditions caused by the 2001 earthquakes no longer exist,” the DHS statement read.

This move reinforces the Trump administration’s hard-line stance on foreigners living in the country. It has already ended the TPS designation for Nicaraguans, Haitians, and Sudanese, while offering short-term extensions for Hondurans and South Sudanese.

Adding insult to injury, Trump referred to El Salvador, Haiti, and African nations as “shithole countries” in a meeting with lawmakers last Thursday.

Photo credit: Peg Hunter / Flickr

The comment sparked global outrage and has caused a case of he said-he said between the two political parties. Sen. Dick Durban (D-Ill.), who attended the meeting, confirmed that Trump used that language, while Republican Sens. Tom Cotton and David Perdue said they “do not recall” the president saying those specific comments.

Trump denies using the term “shithole” and told reporters over the weekend that he is the “least racist person you have ever interviewed.” The most recent reports add a perplexing, but nonetheless troubling, twist: Cotton and Perdue, according to three White House sources, believe Trump said “shithouse” rather than “shithole.”

Regardless of the exact syntax, hundreds of thousands of lives now hang in the balance. According to DHS officials, 262,500 Salvadorans have received TPS permits. These individuals will have nearly two years to either leave the United States on their own or apply for a green card. However, the convoluted and backlogged U.S. immigration system will likely make the latter all but impossible.

Democrats, immigration advocates, and Salvadoran government officials have condemned this decision, calling on DHS Secretary Kirstjen Nielsen to extend the designation due to El Salvador’s growing gang violence.

The Economist reports that El Salvador was ranked as the world′s most violent country, and its capital, San Salvador, the city with the most murders in both 2015 and 2016.

What’s more, El Salvador is struggling to provide economic opportunities for its citizens who currently live there. An influx of new residents could prove problematic. Jeannette Aguilar, who operates a public polling center at Central American University in San Salvador, tells the LA Times that mass U.S. deportations would negatively affect the country’s economy and further compromise security.

“Without a doubt this will be a crisis of grand dimensions,” Aguilar said.

In the U.S., many Salvadorans are worried about losing everything they’ve established – families, businesses, careers, and communities. In a statement, the Service Employees International Union (SEIU) California called the decision “senseless.”

“Our communities will be dealt a serious blow when families are broken apart, when parents and children are separated, and when we see the near simultaneous layoffs of 200,000 Salvadoran TPS recipients currently employed, costing employers nearly $1 billion in immediate turnover costs,” said David Huerta, president of SEIU United Service Workers West (USWW). “We are losing invaluable workers thoroughly vetted by the government, we are losing mothers and fathers who are working to provide the best for their families, and neighbors who have invested in their communities.”


She Didn’t Know Her Rape Led To A Pregnancy. Now, Her Stillbirth Has Landed Her A 30-Year Jail Sentence In El Salvador

Will you and your family be affected by the termination of TPS? Tell us about it in the comments! We want to share your story.

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Five Migrant Girls Were Found Left Alone And Abandoned In The Texas Heat

Things That Matter

Five Migrant Girls Were Found Left Alone And Abandoned In The Texas Heat

This past March, according to El Pais, migrants crossed the Rio Grande at an all-time high not seen in the past 15 years. US government reports underlined that a total of 171,000 people arrived at the southern border of the United States in March. Eleven percent were minors who made the journey by themselves.

Reports say that this vulnerable group will continue to grow in size with recent shifts in the Biden administration child immigration policies. Five migrants girls recently found by the river recently became part of this group.

An onion farmer in Quemado recently reported that he found five migrant girls on his land.

The girls were each under the age of seven, the youngest was too small to even walk. Three of the girls are thought to be from Honduras, the other two are believed to have come from Guatemala.​ Jimmy Hobbs, the farmer who found the girls, said that he called the Border Patrol gave the children aid by giving them water and food and putting them in the shade.

“I don’t think they would have made it if I hadn’t found them,” Hobbs told US Rep. Tony Gonzalez (R-Texas) in a New York Post. “Because it got up to 103 yesterday.”

“My thoughts are that it needs to stop right now. There are going to be thousands. This is just five miles of the Rio Grande,” Hobbs’ wife added in their conversation with Gonzalez. “That’s a huge border. This is happening all up and down it. It can’t go on. It’s gonna be too hot. There’ll be a lot of deaths, a lot of suffering.” 

“It is heartbreaking to find such small children fending for themselves in the middle of nowhere,” Chief Border Patrol Agent Austin Skero II explained of the situation in an interview with ABC 7 Eyewitness News. “Unfortunately this happens far too often now. If not for our community and law enforcement partners, these little girls could have faced the more than 100-degree temperatures with no help.”

According to reports, the Customs and Border Protection stated that the five girls​ ​will be processed and placed in the custody of the Department of Health and Human Services.​

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Congresswoman Norma Torres Is In A Twitter Feud With El Salvador’s President And Neither One Is Backing Down

Things That Matter

Congresswoman Norma Torres Is In A Twitter Feud With El Salvador’s President And Neither One Is Backing Down

Rep. Norma Torres (D-CA) has been one of the most outspoken critics on the root causes of migration to the United States, calling out corruption and neglect from Central American nations.

The Guatemala-born Congresswoman said the issue stemmed from failing to address the root causes of immigration in the Northern Triangle. While she claimed that the Obama administration made strides in Central American intervention (years later, it has little to show for), she did address the many reasons why people from the region made the difficult decision to leave their countries. 

“The poverty we see here in our own communities, you know, in comparison to the poverty that has been caused by climate change issues, severe droughts in the region, the fact that there is no infrastructure for the indigenous populations,” Torres told NPR in 2019

She continues to lay blame on those same nations and she’s making some apparent enemies in the process, including El Salvador’s president Nayib Bukele who has been engaged in a bit of a Twitter feud with the congresswoman.

The California congresswoman is feeling the heat from El Salvador’s president.

President Nayib Bukele and Democratic Rep. Norma Torres have been exchanging very undiplomatic barbs on Twitter for the last few weeks. And now, El Salvador’s president is urging voters in a California congressional district to vote out its U.S. representative in the latest back-and-forth spat between the Central American head of state and one of Congress’ most vocal critics of the region’s leaders.

Torres, who was born in Guatemala, took the first show when she retweeted a disturbing video released by U.S. Customs and Border Protection showing two toddler sisters being dropped into the U.S. by smugglers straddling a 14-foot-tall border wall. The two were picked up by U.S. agents and given medical attention.

Along with a link to the video, Torres tweeted — in Spanish — that the incident is “a great shame for the governments of #Guatemala #Honduras #ElSalvador their compatriots deserve governments that are truly committed to fighting corruption and narco[trafficking]!”

Well, her tweet didn’t sit well with the president.

El Salvador’s Bukele, an avid Twitter user, hit back fast with his own Spanish-language tweet. “Look ma’am, did you read that the children are from ECUADOR and not from EL SALVADOR? Also, this happened on the border of Mexico with the United States. What does El Salvador have to do with this?”

The Salvadoran president then told Torres that she should buy some glasses with a portion of her “financier’s checks.”

But Bukele, at 39 the youngest president in Latin America, is extremely popular. He is often seen wearing a backward baseball cap and sports clothes, and his Nuevas Ideas (New Ideas) party won big in last month’s legislative elections, taking control of the national legislature.

Torres, one of Bukele’s leading critics, kept up the tweet for tweet — this time in English — calling the crisis at the U.S.-Mexico border the result of “narcissistic dictators like you interested in being ‘cool’ while people flee by the 1000s & die by the 100s.”

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