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USA: Bishops, the announcement that protected status for Salvadorans is being closed down was “heart-breaking”

(From New York) The US Bishops defined the announcement made by the National Security Division, to close down the temporary protection scheme (TPS) for Salvadoran citizens living in the USA, as “heart-breaking”. The scheme provides temporary and renewable humanitarian protected status to Salvadoran migrants, so they can legally stay and work in the USA for as long as it would be assumedly dangerous for their safety if they had to go back home. Monsignor Joe S. Vásquez, bishop of Austin and president of the Migration Committee at the US Bishops Conference, stated that “currently El Salvador cannot properly handle the return of the about 200,000 citizens who are under the temporary protection scheme” and expressed serious concerns for the “192,000 US citizens who are the children of such Salvadoran migrants, who now could have their families split up after the repeal of the scheme”. “God called us to take care of strangers and outcasts – monsignor Vásquez went on –, and our nation must not turn its back on the recipients of the TPS and on their families; they are God’s children too”. In the meantime, the Security Division explained that the Salvadoran citizens who are under the scheme will have 18 months’ time to leave the country before they are deported under duress. The bishops hope such time may be enough for Congress to find a bipartisan solution that may not split the families and may protect the migrants’ lives, because, without a law, “these people’s lives will be disrupted and many families will be devastated, as it happened with Daca, the programme for young migrants who arrived illegally in the USA as children”. Such scheme is currently at the centre of a fierce debate and negotiations between President Trump and the legal branch of the US system, which did not want to give funds to build a wall on the border with Mexico, one of the key points of the new administration.

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