BOSTON (WWLP) – Advocates with the organization Centro Presente rallied on Wednesday in support of residents with Temporary Protected Status, or TPS. Activists said that ending the status could tear families apart because many TPS holders have children who are U.S. citizens.
The program allows immigrants from countries impacted by war or natural disasters to temporarily stay in the U.S. The Trump Administration announced Monday that it will end TPS designation for El Salvador.
Religious leaders also expressed support for TPS holders at the rally, including an Episcopal Bishop from western Massachusetts.
“For these people who are here and who have created a life here, who have their families here, have children who have never been in El Salvador, so they’re vulnerable,” Bishop Doug Fisher said. “The church is always called to stand with those who are vulnerable.”
El Salvador originally received the designation after earthquakes in 2001, but the Secretary of Homeland Security’s office said those disaster-related conditions no longer exist.
TPS holders from El Salvador have until September 2019 to leave the country or obtain a legal residency.