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Featured in NPR’s Morning Edition, Maria Rivas, a Temporary Protected Status (TPS) holder originally from El Salvador, and her 15 year old daughter Emily, a U.S. citizen, face the unbearable reality of family separation after the Trump administration terminated TPS for El Salvador back in late 2017. If Maria’s immigration status is allowed to expire, she could be forcibly deported back to El Salvador despite its dangerous country conditions, leaving behind her only child.
Their story is similar for more than 300,000 other TPS holders and their 273,000 American children who also face potential separation when the forced deportation orders come down.
The story is excerpted below with full text available here.
Two decades ago, Maria Rivas emigrated from El Salvador to the United States, where she received temporary protected status (TPS) allowing her to stay and legally work.
But later this year, TPS – a humanitarian program — is set to expire for nearly 200,000 immigrants from El Salvador, including Rivas. If forced to leave the U.S., Maria won’t take her U.S.-born daughter, Emily, with her.
… Emily was at school when she learned of Trump’s announcement. “My phone buzzed and I just saw the notification that TPS was going to terminate. And I remember I started crying.”
… Both Emily and her mother are left worrying about the future.
Maria says she’s “terrified of missing you growing up.” That fear, Maria says, looms larger for her than the thought of returning to El Salvador and facing drought, poverty and gang violence.
As for Emily, she says, “I’m scared that I’m gonna have to do everything all by myself.”
“You’re not going to be alone, I promised you that,” Maria says. “And I’m very hard to get rid of. So I’m going to be on the phone all the time.”
… The temporary protected status for El Salvador natives is set to end on Sept. 9. In the meantime, their status is in limbo as they await rulings on a number of legal challenges to the proposed termination.