Immigrant-rights advocates had heatedly fought to keep the Salvadorans here, arguing many of them have put down roots, including having some 200,000 children who, by dint of being born on US soil, are already citizens.
The Trump administration will end a special protected status for about 200,000 would-be illegal immigrants from El Salvador who have been living here since 2001 - though they'll have an 18-month grace period to get their affairs in order, officials announced Monday.
Salvadorans, whose country was struck by a pair of major earthquakes, will have until September 2019 to leave or obtain other legal options to stay in the United States, according to the Washington Post.
They have enjoyed special protection since earthquakes struck the Central American country in 2001, and many have established deep roots in the USA, starting families and businesses.
Nielsen, who faced a Monday deadline on another extension, determined El Salvador has received significant worldwide aid to recover from the quake and that homes, schools and hospitals there have been rebuilt. An estimated 200,000 Salvadoran immigrants have the protection, according to a November report by the Congressional Research Service.
The decision is likely to please immigration hard-liners who argue the TPS program was never meant to provide long-term residency.
President Donald Trump's decision signals a departure from the stance of previous administrations, which granted and re-authorized temporary protected status for Hondurans beginning in the late 1990s.
Homeland Security also said more than 39,000 Salvadorans have returned home from the U.S.in two years, demonstrating El Salvador's capacity to absorb people. Many TPS holders send money back to their home countries, boosting those economies, for example.
Patrick Young, program director at the nonprofit Central American Refugee Center in Hempstead and Brentwood, said prior administrations had considered "the conditions of chaotic violence in El Salvador" when they extended TPS.
The Department of Homeland Security is set to make a formal announcement on the decision later Monday.
Two U.S. officials discussed the decision on condition of anonymity with The Associated Press because they were not authorized to speak publicly ahead of the announcement.
"The past practice of allowing foreign nationals to remain in the United States long after an initial emergency in their home countries has ended has undermined the integrity of the program and essentially made the "temporary" protected status a front operation for backdoor permanent immigration", Beck said. Trump said in September that he was ending Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals, or DACA, but gave Congress until March to act. The ongoing turf war between the MS-13 and 18th Street gangs, as well as the Salvadoran government's attempt to quell that violence, has kept the country's homicide rate among the highest in the world.
Congressional Democrats are already moving to try to create a new pathway to citizenship for TPS holders, giving them an official way to remain in the USA permanently, as part of ongoing discussions over the fate of so-called Dreamers, another category of sympathetic illegal immigrants. The the Haitian protections are due to expire on January 22. She delayed a decision affecting more than 50,000 Hondurans, foisting the decision onto Nielsen.