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ICYMI: “Protected? A Profile of Laura Sanchez”

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Harvard Political Review Tells the Story of Local Temporary Protected Status (TPS) Holder and Harvard Employee

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Tamara Shamir sheds light on the life of Salvadoran Temporary Protected Status (TPS) holder, Laura Sanchez. In the Harvard Political Review article, Shamir exposes the struggles and uncertainty that have followed Trump’s termination of TPS for El Salvador. The Trump administration has terminated TPS for more than 300,000 immigrants from various disaster-stricken countries working legally in the U.S.- some for decades. You can read the article in full here.

Shamir’s article is excerpted below:

“… Even though Sanchez remains hopeful that political resistance and action will be enough to undo the harm wreaked by the Trump administration’s repeal of TPS and DACA, her optimism is somewhat tempered: “They’re fighting,” she said. “DACA will probably get something; I don’t know about TPS.” Laura’s prediction could very well be accurate, as TPS rights receive far less attention than DACA at Harvard and beyond.

“It is difficult for Sanchez to face the possibility of having to leave the life she has made for herself over the past 19 years. She worries about losing the benefits she has earned over nearly two decades of constant work. “Where will my retirement go? Where will my social security go?” she asked. Yet Sanchez is not worried about herself as much as her children, who were very young when she brought them to the United States. Her daughter, who was five years old when they moved, is graduating from Lesley University this year, and one of her sons is getting married in a few months. After watching her children grow up and find a lives for themselves in the States, Sanchez struggles to imagine them trying to adapt to life in El Salvador.

“It is hard for us to think that we’ll have to go [to El Salvador],” she said. “My kids don’t know anybody over there. If we go back, they’ll feel like they don’t belong.” Indeed, with most of her family already living in the States, including her siblings, Sanchez says there is not a whole lot she can expect to return to.”