San Salvador (Agenzia Fides) - "We strongly urge the president of the United States (Donald Trump), the Congress and all the authorities of that great nation, that on this significant date of Christmas they should see to it that the rights of our brother migrants are respected and treated with dignity", said the Archbishop of San Salvador, Mgr. José Luis Escobar, during a press conference after celebrating Sunday Mass in the cathedral of the capital. Mgr. Escobar said that the Salvadoran Church "suffers" because of the "sad drama that many of our migrant brothers live". Their only fault is that they are undocumented migrants. They are not criminals. We are all brothers", said the Archbishop. The Catholic Church of El Salvador requests that the United States government "respect" the rights of Salvadoran immigrants who are in that nation without documents.
The U.S. Department of Homeland Security has until January 7 to debate the future of TPS (Temporary Protected Status). Thousands of immigrants are waiting on tenerhooks for the decision to be announced, with the first round of recipients scheduled for renewals as early as March 8. The TPS provides refuge to about 200,000 Salvadorians, which grants temporary permits to reside and work in the United States (see Fides 22/12/2017). The TPS was granted to El Salvador in 2001, when the country was hit hard by two earthquakes on January 13 and February 13 of that year.
Mgr. Joe S. Vásquez, Bishop of Austin, Texas, and President of the Commission for Migration of the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops (USCCB), presented the report of its Commission on the issue on October 17 (see Fides 18/10/2017). "I encourage you to direct your thoughts and your prayers to the people of El Salvador and Honduras, including the recipients of the TPS - the Bishop said - I encourage you to engage in the request to the US Administration of an extension of the TPS for El Salvador and Honduras ... and to address the elected Congressmen and ask them for a legislative solution for the TPS recipients who have been living in the United States for many years".
According to data from the American press, there are 317,660 people "protected from expulsion by the TPS" in the United States, although in another report of the Congress Library, this figure reports 436,869. It should be noted that these are the registered persons, while it is known that in reality there are many more: Salvadorians and Hondurans live days of concern, as the TPS for Nicaragua was not renewed last November 7th, so 2,550 Nicaraguans will no longer have the protection of the TPS as from 5 January 2018 and will have to leave the country by 2019. (CE) (Agenzia Fides, 29/12/2017)