- The Washington Times - Monday, January 8, 2018

The Department of Homeland Security has decided not to grant a full renewal of humanitarian protections to some 200,000 citizens of El Salvador who have been living in the U.S. since 2001, according to The Washington Post.

An official announcement is expected later Monday, but sources on Capitol Hill briefed on the decision told the newspaper that new Homeland Security Secretary Kirstjen Nielsen has decided to grant an 18-month grace period, allowing Salvadorans to remain through September 2019, but won’t offer a renewal.

Temporary Protected Status allows them to live and work in the U.S. without fear of deportation. Without it, most TPS holders would be illegal immigrants.

Immigrant-rights activists, religious leaders and business groups had been pleading for a full renewal, saying the U.S. economy relies on the Salvadorans for labor, and many of them have had children born here, making them American citizens and raising the possibility they’ll have to separate their families.

The Bush and Obama administrations regularly renewed TPS for Salvadorans, Hondurans and Nicaraguans, dating back nearly two decades. Haitians have also been protected since a 2010 earthquake.

But the Trump administration has taken a stricter approach, saying the law only allows the status as long as the home country is still recovering. Homeland Security earlier this year announced a wind-down for Nicaraguans and Haitians, and a six-month delay on a final decision on Honduras.

• Sally Persons can be reached at spersons@washingtontimes.com.

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