Back to Top skip to main content
Green and Spiegel - An Immigration Law Firm - United States
Jan 10, 2018

El Salvador TPS Status to be terminated as of Sept. 9, 2019

On January 8, 2018, Homeland Security Secretary Kirstjen M. Nielsen announced the termination of the Temporary Protected Status (TPS) designation for El Salvador, to take effect after an 18-month delay on September 9, 2019. It is estimated that approximately 200,000 Salvadorans have status under TPS in the U.S. today. 

A country may be designated with TPS due ongoing armed conflict (such as civil war), an environmental disaster (such as earthquake or hurricane) or an epidemic, or other extraordinary and temporary conditions.  On March 9, 2001, El Salvador was designated for TPS by former U.S. Attorney General John Ashcroft, due to earthquakes causing a severe humanitarian crisis.  Under TPS, Salvadorans could obtain temporary lawful status and work authorization in the United States.  After having established a normal life in the United States for the past 17 years, hundreds of thousands of Salvadorans protected under TPS are now facing tough decisions, which will have implications for U.S. employers as well.

The Secretary advised that the 18-month delay was to provide time for an orderly transition and time for individuals with TPS to arrange departure to El Salvador or seek alternative lawful immigration status in the United States, if eligible.  Secretary Nielsen asserted that the “disruption of living conditions caused by the earthquake no longer exist,” because reconstruction projects of hospitals, roads, and schools are complete.  Further, she stated that it is the duty of Congress to develop a solution for the absence of a lawful immigration status to those who are currently registered under TPS.  These comments are highly controversial.

Over the past 17 years, TPS for Salvadorans had been renewed several times by administrations of both political parties.  Most recently, DHS renewed the designation listing other considerations in addition to the earthquake, such as drought, food insecurity, poverty, and gang violence in El Salvador. 

USCIS will no longer accept TPS re-registration information for citizens of El Salvador.  Holders of TPS must look for an alternative lawful immigration status, if he or she wishes to remain in the U.S.  TPS does not lead to lawful permanent residency; however, other nonimmigrant or immigrant statuses may be available, based on eligibility.  Employers of TPS holders will also be affected as protected Salvadorans lose lawful work authorization, causing a loss in high numbers of the workforce.

This announcement follows several similar moves by the Trump Administration, which recently terminated TPS for citizens of Haiti and Nicaragua and rescinded the Deferred Action for Children Arrivals (DACA) program.  Although a federal court recently ordered the Department of Homeland Security to resume DACA renewals, those with TPS face an uncertain future.

Green and Spiegel continues to monitor the response to this decision carefully.  If you hold TPS status or are an employer with TPS staff members and have questions, please contact us immediately.  

Related Services:

Recent Blogs

Aug 06, 2020

The U.S. Dept. of Labor and Immigration Authorities are Going to Examine Business Immigration Petitioners Much More Closely

The U.S. government and state agencies which regulate recruitment, hiring, and employment are integrating. They are sharing more information and increasingly possess tools for analysis, investigation, and reporting which rival those of the private sector. This makes the practical costs of mistakes, negligence, and fraud more significant and suggests that businesses look carefully policies and procedures to mitigate risk.

Jul 31, 2020

District Court Judge Rebukes Trump Administration Again

Nationwide Injunction Entered Against Application of Public Charge Rule by USCIS and DOS

Jul 29, 2020

U.S. Department of Justice Slaps Down Company's Attempt to Hire Only Foreign Workers

On July 27, 2020, the U.S. Department of Justice (DOJ) announced a settlement with ASTA CRS Inc. of Virginia (“ASTA”) which resolves complaints that ASTA discriminated against U.S. workers in hiring. Of issue was ASTA’s job announcements and procedures which sought exclusively foreign workers and made clear the company’s preference for hiring non-U.S. persons. These were violations of the Immigration and Nationality Act (INA) and the settlement saddles ASTA with policy changes, training, and DOJ oversight.