“Marek is among the many entrepreneurs who are balking at the Trump administration’s approach to immigration policy, specifically the Temporary Protected Status program, or TPS. On Monday, the government said as many as 200,000 Salvadoran immigrants must leave the country by September 2019, or risk deportation, as it moves to end the decades-old policy. The news comes just weeks after more than 45,000 Haitians lost similar protections granted after a devastating 2010 earthquake, and as Hondurans face the same prospect. Nicaraguans, meanwhile, lost their protection in November.
Congress enacted TPS in 1990, with the original goal of helping those fleeing war and natural disasters at home. These immigrants have built homes, launched businesses, and raised children stateside, and work in various industries such as construction, landscaping, food, and retail, according to data from the nonprofit Center for Migration Studies. Generally speaking, those with protected status are concentrated in California, Texas, Florida, New York, Virginia, and Maryland.
Because TPS has allowed some migrants to live and work for more than 20 years in the U.S., the policy change stands to hurt not just families but also niche segments of the economy. A new report from the Immigrant Legal Resource Center, a San Francisco law firm, estimates a loss of as much as $45.2 million in gross domestic product. Marek notes that Salvadorans, in particular, represent a large share of the already-thinning talent pool for construction, and the loss of such workers could decimate the industry.”
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