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U.S. to lift deportation protections on nearly 200,000 Salvadorans

Salvadoran immigrants
Children hold posters asking the Federal government to renew Temporary Protected Status during a press conference about TPS for people from Haiti, Honduras, Nicaragua and El Salvador. Photo: Joe Raedle / Getty Images

The Trump administration will announce Monday that the nearly 200,000 people from El Salvador who have been allowed to live in the U.S. since a pair of devastating earthquakes battered their country in 2001 must leave or legalize their status by September 2019, according to the New York Times and Washington Post.

Why it matters: The move is the latest crackdown on immigration policy as Republicans and Democrats continue to showdown over how to respond to the administration's termination of DACA.

Timing: The administration announced in November that the roughly 50,000 Haitians living and working across the country under Temporary Protection Status — the second largest group with such protections, after Salvadorans — had until July 2019 to leave the U.S. or obtain legal residency. Nicaraguan migrants subsequently lost their TPS. Other immigrants with TPS, such as Hondurans, may also lose their status.

Driving the decision: DHS will state that Secretary Kirstjen Nielsen has determined "the conditions in El Salvador have improved significantly since then, ending the original justification for the Salvadorans’ deportation protection," sources told the Post. The move will likely appease critics of the TPS program who argue it was never meant to provide long-term residency.