Why Our Work is Necessary

President Trump announced that he would no longer renew the status of immigrants from El Salvador who came to the US under the TPS (Temporary Protected Status) program. This means that two hundred and sixty thousand people are now left with less than a year to try to radically change their lives and figure out where they are going to live. The average Salvadoran with TPS has spent 21 years in the United States. Nine in ten have jobs and a third are homeowners. Their families include 192,000 children born in the United States. Most of them entered the country after George H.W. Bush created the program, and came after earthquakes or fleeing gang violence. Around half of the El Salvadorians protected under the program are expected to be allowed to apply for permanent residence, and some are expected to apply to Canada to work there. However, that is not an option for all of them, and due to the fact that because they have all cooperated extensively with the government as part of being part of the program, much of their data is known and they face a high risk of deportation. That means that many around 15% will be forced to return to El Salvador, a country that many of them have not been in for decades, and that some children have little memory of. The area that returning Salvadorians is dropped off in is one of the most heavily gang ridden areas of El Salvador, and returning Salvadorans who lived in America are often seen as wealthy targets for gangs, putting them at significant risk. In addition, those who left gangs behind could be subject to violent reprisals. El Salvador also has some of the highest rates of gendered violence in the world, and younger women are particularly at risk, so it is vital that they are able to become economically independent. Returning members need to find housing and a job quickly in order to stay safe. While El Salvador has a struggling job market, and underemployment is rampant, one of the most valuable skills one can have is the ability to speak English, a skill had by most of the former US residents that make up TPS. We intent to work with the deportees when they are at their most vulnerable, when they first arrive in the country, to help find them employment and housing in a safe area, particularly focusing at the at risk populations.

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