The Trump administration has decided to cancel permits that allow nearly 200,000 people from El Salvador to live and work in the US.
They were granted Temporary Protected Status (TPS) after earthquakes rocked the Central American country in 2001. Salvadoreans now have until 2019 to leave or face deportation, unless they find a legal way to stay.
Nevada Senator Catherine Cortez Masto said it was “a poignant reminder that we have an anti-immigrant president who turns his back on hardworking families and insists on governing by fear and intimidation”.
The Trump administration has already removed TPS protection from tens of thousands of Haitians and Nicaraguans Watch Online.
Protections for Salvadoreans were set to expire on Monday, after nearly two decades of holding the humanitarian status due to the impact of the natural disaster that killed more than 1,000 people.
The latest announcement comes four months after the government said it planned to scrap an Obama-era scheme, Daca, that protected young undocumented immigrants, mostly Latin Americans, from deportation.
Lawmakers in Congress have been given until March to decide on the fate of the 800,000 so-called Dreamers affected by the Daca decision.
The move will end the protected status of nearly 200,000 Salvadoreans living across America, forcing them to face possible deportation or separation from their families.
It also raises questions about the future of nearly 200,000 of their children who were born in the US, and who are also at risk of deportation.
Salvadoreans with Temporary Protected Status are established in large numbers in California, Texas and around the US capital, Washington DC.
According to the Center for Migration Studies, they represent more than 135,000 households across the country, with a quarter of them home-owners:
Money earned and sent back to families in El Salvador also makes a valuable contribution to the country’s economy, the Center for American Progress says. The think tank estimates that in 2015, remittances made up more than 15% of El Salvador’s GDP.
This News is Taken From BBC.