Trump’s decision to end Temporary Protected Status for Salvadorans living in the United States is going to have treacherous consequences for families, communities and the economy. Many Salvadorans have been here for almost two decades. They’ve gone to college, bought homes, owned businesses, worked hard and had kids, and now that’s all being torn away from them.
Salvadorans who are now parents have to make the agonizing choice of leaving their children in the U.S. or returning to El Salvador, which currently has one of the highest homicide rates in the world.
Gangs in El Salvador have also been known to police a strict dress code and target people with American habits, effectively putting a target on the back of those who have been in the United States under TPS. One Salvadoran mom who has been covered by TPS explained, “My sons speak English more than Spanish. There’s a chance they’d be kidnapped if I took them back. I don’t even know who I can trust over there.”
In Georgia, there are approximately 5,700 Salvadorans with Temporary Protected Status. Collectively, they have about 8,200 U.S. born children. To leave over eight thousand children parentless overnight would be a tragedy, but so would sending that many children to a country and life they’ve never known.
Suddenly losing six thousand employees could have crippling effects on Georgia’s economy. It’s been estimated that $339.3 million would be lost from Georgia’s GDP annually without TPS holders from El Salvador, Honduras and Haiti.
Ending TPS is only the most recent step by the Trump administration to drastically cut immigration to the United States by making legal immigration harder and increasing efforts to find and deport those who are undocumented. Trump’s efforts are inhumane and will have catastrophic effects both here and abroad if not put in check.