NEW YORK (CBSNewYork/AP) — The Trump administration’s decision to end special protections for about 200,0000 Salvadoran immigrants raises the possibility they will be forced to abandon their roots in the U.S. and return to a violent homeland they have not known for years.
Homeland Security Secretary Kirstjen Nielsen gave Salvadorans with temporary protected status until Sept. 9, 2019, to leave the United States or face deportation.
El Salvador becomes the fourth country since President Donald Trump took office to lose protection under the program. Begun in 1990, the Temporary Protected Status was created to provide humanitarian relief to foreigners escaping unsafe homelands hit by natural disasters or war.
“Our home is Long Island,” said Rodman Sorano, who told WCBS 880’s Alex Silverman his parents had been living in the United States for decades. “TPS has given us the security and stability and the confidence to chase after our dreams.
“Twenty-five years, contributing, paying taxes,” he said.
The decision, while not surprising, is a severe blow to Salvadorans in New York, Houston, San Francisco and other major cities that have welcomed them under various immigration rules since at least the 1980s.
Rodman’s parents are among the 16,000 in New York who could be deported if they don’t leave by September.
“It’s unjust. It’s unfair,” he said.
The New York Immigration Coalition said those Salvadorans in New York have 15,000 U.S. citizen children like Rodman, who could lose their parents to a country they’ve never seen.
“We deserve to live a life that’s not filled with fear everyday like we’re living now,” he said.