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Congressman Panetta Statement on Trump Administration's Decision to End Temporary Protected Status Designation for El Salvador

January 8, 2018
Press Release

WASHINGTON, DC – Congressman Jimmy Panetta (CA-20) today released the following statement in response to the Trump Administration’s announcement that it would not renew the temporary protected status (TPS) designation for El Salvador:

“The Trump Administration’s announcement to end the critical TPS designation for El Salvador will upend the lives of over 200,000 residents and their families who have lived in and contributed to our nation for years. These individuals, including approximately 50,000 in California, own businesses and homes, and pay taxes. Without them, the United States will lose billions in Gross Domestic Product (GDP) and contributions to Social Security and Medicare, business will shutter their doors, and employers will be forced to pay millions in forcible turnover costs.

“The conditions in El Salvador have not improved since the last time the Department of Homeland Security determined that the country ‘remains unable, temporarily, to handle adequately the return of its nationals.’ By ending this program, hundreds of thousands of people will either be forcibly removed by Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) agents and sent to El Salvador, a country in the grips of widespread gang violence with one of the world’s highest murder rates, or retreat to the shadows without documented status here in the United States. Congress should pass the American Promise Act so that these TPS recipients can continue to work and live in our communities, and contribute to our country.”

In response to devastation in El Salvador caused by two major earthquakes in 2001, the Bush Administration granted temporary protected status to its migrants. This designation has since been extended to El Salvador 13 times as the country struggles to rebuild its critical infrastructure. Congressman Panetta is a co-sponsor of the American Promise Act (H.R.4253), legislation that creates a path to permanent, lawful residency for individuals who currently receive TPS and Deferred Enforcement Departure. On December 8, 2017, Congressman Panetta sent a letter to U.S. Department of Homeland Security Secretary Kirstjen Nielsen to urge the Trump Administration to renew the temporary protected status designation for El Salvador. On January 5, 2018, he also held a press conference and roundtable with local Salvadoran TPS holders on the central coast of California.