WASHINGTON (CNS) — Salvadorans with a special immigration status experienced whiplash in late October when the U.S. ambassador to El Salvador, in a video with the Salvadoran president Oct. 28, announced the extension of the program, only to be corrected hours later by the acting director of the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services.
“Some reporting has spoken of ‘extending TPS.’ That has important legal meaning, and that’s not what happened (with) the agreements,” Ken Cuccinelli, the USCIS official, said in a tweet the same day explaining developments in Temporary Protected Status for Salvadorans. “Rather, work permits for Salvadorans will be extended for one year past resolution of litigation for an orderly wind down period.”
The reporting of the developments, however, came after a video released via Twitter by Salvadoran President Nayib Bukele, which shows him standing next to Ambassador Ronald Douglas Johnson, who announces in Spanish the TPS extension.
“We’re very happy to be able to announce that today in Washington, D.C., we signed an agreement that extends TPS, for Salvadorans who are in the United States, for one more year,” Johnson said in the video.
Most of the news stories for that day were written based on the ambassador’s statement, which reversed the administration’s earlier stance that by January 2020, it would end TPS for Salvadorans.
The program grants a work permit and reprieve from deportation to certain people whose countries have experienced natural disasters, armed conflicts or exceptional situations so they can remain temporarily in the United States. Salvadoran TPS recipients have arrived in the U.S. in the past because of war, earthquakes and other natural disasters.
It’s unclear what the announcement means when only the work permits have been extended.
The U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops as well as a variety of Catholic organizations in the U.S. have publicly supported TPS, but also call for a permanent status for the recipients, saying they have contributed to the country, own property, have U.S.-born children and should be allowed to stay.
After the end of the TPS program for El Salvador was announced in late 2017, the USCCB’s Committee on Migration and other Catholic organizations sent a letter to the Department of Homeland Security urging an extension.
“Terminating TPS for El Salvador now would be inhumane and untenable; El Salvador is in no position to accommodate the return of roughly 200,000 Salvadorans,” they wrote.
“In addition to potentially bringing harm to those returned, terminating TPS for El Salvador would likely destabilize this key strategic, regional partner, undermining the tremendous investments of the U.S. government,” they said.
Join the CatholicPhilly.com family
CatholicPhilly.com works to strengthen the connections between people, families and communities every day by delivering the news people need to know about the Catholic Church, especially in the Philadelphia region, and the world in which we live.
By your donation in any amount, you and hundreds of other people become part of our mission to inform, form in the Catholic faith and inspire the thousands of readers who visit every month.
Here is how you can help:
- A $100 gift allows us to present award-winning photos of Catholic life in our neighborhoods.
- A $50 gift enables us to cover a news event in a local parish, school or Catholic institution.
- A $20 gift lets us obtain solid faith formation resources that can deepen your spirituality and knowledge of the faith.
- A small, automated monthly donation means you can support us continually and easily.
Won't you consider making a gift today?
Please join in the church's vital mission of communications by offering a gift in whatever amount that you can ― a single gift of $40, $50, $100, or more, or a monthly donation. Your gift will strengthen the fabric of our entire Catholic community and sustain CatholicPhilly.com as your trusted news source. Thank you in advance!
Make your donation by credit card here:
Or make your donation by check:
222 N. 17th Street
Philadelphia, PA 19103
PREVIOUS: West Virginia bishop seeks ‘amends for harm’ to church by predecessor
NEXT: In court briefs, Catholic leaders urge Supreme Court to keep DACA in place
Share this story