Editor’s note: CHN Executive Director Deborah Weinstein issued the following statement Tuesday, Jan. 9 in response to the Trump administration’s announcement that it would end work authorization and legal protection for nearly 200,000 El Salvadorans living in the U.S.:
“On Monday the Trump administration announced the latest step in its assault against immigrant communities in the U.S. It decreed that it will eliminate work authorization and protection for nearly 200,000 people from El Salvador – meaning they will be at risk for deportation by September 2019.
“This announcement – which could affect as many as 192,000 U.S. citizen children – is as unconscionable as it is un-American. America’s greatness has always resided in its welcome to immigrants. And no nation can aspire to greatness if it does not protect families’ capacity to nurture their children. All members of the U.S. community – children, parents, and yes, El Salvadorans here for decades – deserve the opportunity to grow, thrive, invent and contribute to the great American melting pot. It is an affront to our most deeply held American values to force upon families the untenable choice of leaving their children here while parents leave, taking their U.S. citizen children to a country whose violence is still causing families to flee, or remaining here underground.
“For El Salvadorans in particular, this announcement could literally put people’s lives in danger. El Salvador is currently a nation experiencing unprecedented gang violence, food and housing shortages, and an economy that has not recovered from its devastating 2001 earthquake.
“As our friends at CLASP have noted, this decision is part of a larger agenda by the Trump administration to create fear and disrupt immigrant families and communities. This approach is immoral and un-American. Instead, we should embrace immigrant families’ significant contributions and foster their children’s success.”