The Trump administration announced it will end the Temporary Protection Status allowing immigrants from El Salvador to work and live legally in the U.S.
This comes on the heels of the White House's recent announcement to end the program for immigrants from Nicaragua. The future of TPS beneficiaries from other countries, including Haiti and Honduras, is pending. Other TPS beneficiaries including nationals from Somalia, South Sudan, Sudan, Syria, Nepal and Yemen are currently protected.
Jason De León, associate professor of anthropology at the University of Michigan, has spent the last five years studying undocumented migration to the U.S., as well as migration from Central America through Mexico. He reacted to the most recent White House news.
"The ending of TPS for 200,000+ Salvadorans is a cruel political move that runs counter to the American ideas that we are a compassionate country that was founded by immigrants and that we see ourselves as providing shelter to those in need," he said.
"This cancellation will wreak havoc on our local communities through the real threat of draconian deportation raids and (if carried out) will send people back to a country where the risk of death is frightening real. This is not simply a cancellation of a humanitarian immigration program. This is a death sentence for many."
Previous commentary from De León on TPS: White House announces end of TPS for Nicaragua, remains silent on future of other immigrants
William Lopez, a postdoctoral scholar at the U-M School of Public Health, whose work focuses on the effects of immigration enforcement on Latino communities, agreed.
"Those who oppose the presence of immigrants in our country always argue that immigrants should come into the U.S. the right way," Lopez said. "The revocation of Temporary Protected Status for 200,000 El Salvadorians reminds us that the right way is a moving target that is more likely to bend to the whims of politicians that be structured to keep families together."
Related study from Lopez: Immigration raids affect community health