More than 200,000 Salvadorans—a group who make up the majority of members of one of the most violent nonwhite gangs to ever plague America—and who have been living in the US under “Temporary Protected Status” (TPS) following a 2001 earthquake in their country must go home, the Trump administration announced today.
According to a statement issued by the Secretary of Homeland Security Kirstjen Nielsen, the termination of the Temporary Protected Status (TPS) designation for El Salvador was required pursuant to the Immigration and Nationality Act.
The Salvadorans have been given until September 9, 2019, to leave the US and return home.
“The decision to terminate TPS for El Salvador was made after a review of the disaster-related conditions upon which the country’s original designation was based and an assessment of whether those originating conditions continue to exist as required by statute,” the DHS statement said.
“Based on careful consideration of available information, including recommendations received as part of an inter-agency consultation process, the Secretary determined that the original conditions caused by the 2001 earthquakes no longer exist. Thus, under the applicable statute, the current TPS designation must be terminated.”
Following the 2001 earthquake, El Salvador received a significant amount of international aid to assist in its recovery efforts, including millions of dollars dedicated to emergency and long-term assistance.
Many reconstruction projects have now been completed. Schools and hospitals damaged by the earthquakes have been reconstructed and repaired, homes have been rebuilt, and money has been provided for water and sanitation and to repair earthquake damaged roads and other infrastructure.
“The substantial disruption of living conditions caused by the earthquake no longer exist,” the statement continued.
“Additionally, in recent years, the U.S. government has been repatriating individuals back to El Salvador—more than 39,000 in the last two years—demonstrating that the temporary inability of El Salvador to adequately return their nationals after the earthquake has been addressed.”
Salvadorans make up the majority membership of one of the most violent nonwhite criminal gangs ever established in the US, namely the “MS-13” (Mara Salvatrucha) crime syndicate.
MS-13 has an especially heavy presence in Los Angeles County and the San Francisco Bay Area in California; the Washington, D.C. metropolitan areas of Fairfax County, Virginia, Montgomery County, Maryland, and Prince George’s County, Maryland; Queens, New York; Long Island, New York; Newark, New Jersey, Plainfield, New Jersey; Jersey City, New Jersey; Elizabeth, New Jersey; the Boston, Massachusetts area; Charlotte, North Carolina; and Houston, Texas. There is also a presence of MS-13 in Toronto, Canada.
MS-13 appears to use Texas as a stopping point for travel from Los Angeles to the East Coast and for the trafficking of drugs, humans, and weapons between Mexico and the United States. The largest concentration of MS-13 in Texas is in Houston.
President Donald Trump has declared his goal of “eradicating” MS-13, calling them “animals.” In November 16, 2017 the DHS and the U.S. Department of Justice (DOJ), and Immigration and Customs Enforcement(ICE), officials announced that they arrested a total of 267 alleged MS-13 gang members, which had resulted in charges relating to drug trafficking, child prostitution, human smuggling, racketing, conspiracy to commit murder.