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Local Salvadorans Brace For Uncertainty Amid White House Decision

Joe Moore
Valley Public Radio
file photo

On Monday, the Trump Administration announced that natives of El Salvador will soon lose their temporary protected status in the U.S.

The Department of Homeland Security says that in September of 2019, 200,000 Salvadorans in the U.S. will lose protection from deportation. That status was originally designated in 2001, under President George W. Bush. At the time, many Salvadorans had already fled to the U.S to escape earthquakes in their home country.

Tom Holyoke is a political science professor at Fresno State. He says the decision is likely a political one.

“To some extent, this is the president doing something for his base of supporters, many of whom are not happy about the way immigration works in the U.S. and, arguably would prefer to keep the United States, I suppose, whiter than it is, or it is becoming.”

Jesus Martinez is the chair of the Central Valley Immigrant Integration Collaborative.

“So what this is going to do is disrupt lives, and not give an opportunity to become citizens.”

It’s unclear exactly how many will be affected in the Valley, but Martinez says that over 7,000 Central American immigrants reside locally, and most of them are from El Salvador. And now, they have only 18 more months to figure out what to do next.

Laura Tsutsui was a reporter and producer for Valley Public Radio. She joined the station in 2017 as a news intern, and later worked as a production assistant and weekend host. Laura covered local issues ranging from politics to housing, and produced the weekly news program Valley Edition. She left the station in November 2020.