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US to end special protections for Salvadorans

Posted at 10:44 AM, Jan 08, 2018
and last updated 2018-01-08 12:30:13-05

WASHINGTON (AP) --  Officials say the Trump administration is ending special protections for Salvadoran immigrants, forcing nearly 200,000 to leave the country or face deportation.

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El Salvador is the fourth country whose citizens have lost Temporary Protected Status under President Donald Trump. They have by far been the largest beneficiaries of the program, which provides humanitarian relief for foreigners whose countries are hit with natural disasters or other strife.

Two U.S. officials discussed the decision with The Associated Press on condition of anonymity because they were not authorized to speak publicly before the announcement.

One official said Salvadorans will have until September 2019 to leave the United States or adjust their legal status. Secretary Kirstjen Nielsen faced a Monday deadline whether to grant an extension.

 -- By Associated Press writer Zeke Miller.