The Trump administration announced that it's ending protections for Salvadorans who came to the U.S. after quakes struck their country in 2001. About 30,000 immigrants in Los Angeles benefit from this program, called Temporary Protected Status or TPS. They now have until September 2019 to get their affairs in order.
Yanci Montes, an immigration attorney in L.A., has been assisting those who've built up lives and families in the U.S. and wish to stay.
"Half of these TPS recipients qualify for some sort of alternative relief to remain here in the United States legally," she says.
Some of those people include:
- Those who entered the country on a visa or tourist visa.
- People who are either married a U.S. citizen or have lawful permanent residency in the U.S.; they may apply for a green card.
- Victims of a crime in the U.S.
- Those with children actively serving in the U.S. Armed Forces.
Montes she notes that anyone who faces deportation can still get due process through what's known as the removal proceedings process.
"This process can take up to three to five years where you can fight your case before an immigration judge," she says. "People have rights.
She recommends, however, that all TPS recipients consult with an attorney to determine their eligibility to stay.