AILA Public Statements, Press Releases

AILA Condemns Termination of TPS for Salvadorans, Calls on Congress to Act

George Tzamaras
Belle Woods

WASHINGTON, DC - The American Immigration Lawyers Association (AILA) is deeply disappointed by the decision of the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) to revoke Temporary Protected Status (TPS) for nearly 200,000 nationals of El Salvador, effective September 9, 2019.

AILA President Annaluisa Padilla stated, "In 2001, a series of earthquakes hit El Salvador, catastrophically damaging the country's infrastructure, resulting in President George W. Bush first designating the country's citizen as eligible for TPS. Since then, El Salvador has been struck by natural disaster upon natural disaster which the U.S. government itself has documented: hurricanes, tropical storms, flooding, earthquakes, drought…the list goes on. It is beyond callous to rescind TPS now and send nearly 200,000 people and their families to a country still in chaos from environmental destruction and criminal activity, including a tragically high homicide rate, particularly given the strong roots that Salvadorans have put down in the United States. Revoking TPS harms communities, families, and businesses across the nation. This is a misguided and inhumane decision."

Benjamin Johnson, AILA Executive Director, noted, "For 17 years, our nation has recognized that forcing the return of nearly 200,000 citizens of El Salvador to a country still reeling from natural disasters and strife would be wrong. TPS holders have built lives here; they have pursued educational opportunities; they have contributed their labor and skills to our communities; they have been vetted repeatedly and thoroughly by the U.S. government each time they reapplied for protection. With this decision, DHS is throwing businesses, who rely on their long-time employees who have TPS, into disarray. Longstanding members of the community are terrified they will be forced to choose between leaving their children in the U.S. or taking them to a dangerous country they may never have seen. Congress must act on the bipartisan bills that have been introduced which would provide an opportunity for permanent residence for those who have followed our laws and strengthened our communities."


The American Immigration Lawyers Association is the national association of immigration lawyers established to promote justice, advocate for fair and reasonable immigration law and policy, advance the quality of immigration and nationality law and practice, and enhance the professional development of its members.