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Locals worry Trump administration will not renew TPS, families will be torn apart

Posted at 6:13 PM, Jan 05, 2018
and last updated 2018-01-06 16:48:39-05

An important deadline looms for hundreds of thousands of immigrants from El Salvador who may lose their protected status that lets them live and work in the US

Locals are worried their families will be torn apart. 

"A little scared. A little preoccupation because I don't know what's going to happen with me."

For seventeen years, Jose Echeverria from El Salvador held on to his temporary protected status or TPS.

He's the breadwinner of his family. But right now, his fate is in limbo.

"Without the TPS  protection, I can't work in my job," said Jose.

Migrants with TPS status are exempt from deportation because their home countries are deemed too unstable or unsafe.

The United States originally granted TPS to Salvadorans in 2001 following a series of earthquakes. The status has been renewed every 18 months since then and it is up for renewal again this year.

Now, the Trump administration has to decide by Monday whether Salvadorans like Jose will stay.

"It's a very painful thing for these families," says Geoconda Arguello-Kline. She's with the culinary union are standing behind TPS holders.

Right now, about 5,700 TPS workers from El Salvador call Nevada home.

"We've been talking to every representative. We've been sending a message to all the politicians," says Arguello-Kline.

Recently, the Trump administration did not renew protections for Haitians and Nicaraguans. It's not a good sign but Jose Echeverria remains hopeful.

"I tell the president, please renew the TPS," he said.