TPS Holder Concerned Following Decision to End Program

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MCALLEN – The Temporary Protected Status offered a safe haven for people from countries affected by a variety of natural disasters.

TPS protects more than 300,000 people from 10 countries; more than half are from El Salvador. Among those, is a man who spent nearly three decades in the U.S. and who is left wondering what will become of his life in the months to come.

The Homeland Security Secretary says El Salvador received enough international aid to recover from Mother Nature. Homes, school, and hospitals were repaired and rebuilt since a massive 2001 earthquake. 

“I only have a brother in El Salvador. My dad died. My mom died. Considering if I do leave, it will be a very hard life,” he said.

Hernandez is the only member of his family under TPS. His children are U.S. citizens and his wife is a permanent resident.

He said this week's decision gives him and others until September 2019 to find an alternative, stay in the country illegally, voluntarily return or be deported. 

The president of NumbersUSA, a moderate, conservative, and liberal group, said in the following statement:

"The past practice of allowing foreign nationals to remain in the United States long after an initial emergency in their home countries has ended has undermined the integrity of the program and essentially made the 'temporary' protected status a front operation for backdoor permanent immigration.”

The organization emphasized the program was never intended to be a permanent solution. 

For now, Hernandez is waiting to see what the final 18 months of the program hold. 

However, the Department of Homeland Security says the Trump administration left the door open for Congress to find a legislative solution that would allow Salvadorans with TPS to remain in the country. 

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