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The decision by the Department of Homeland Security not to renew Temporary Protected Status, for almost 200,000 migrants from El Salvador is President Trump’s latest attempt to restrict both legal and illegal immigration. This comes on the heels of the same rulings last year regarding Haitians and Nicaraguans. Salvadorans, however, are by far the largest group of T.P.S. recipients — approximately two-thirds of the remaining beneficiaries.
Just like the decision to end the DACA program for nearly 800,000 undocumented childhood arrivals, the T.P.S. announcement is politically motivated and is probably an attempt to satisfy President Trump’s anti-immigrant base. Although the choice to end a supposedly temporary program that has nonetheless lasted for 17 years may sound rational, the real-world consequences of such a wide-reaching move will be immediate and severe — and may even contribute to a new cycle of illegal immigration.