Immigration Advocates: Congress Should Reverse Trump Decision on Salvadorans

Jan 11, 2018

Cristina Recinos, an El Salvador citizen living in the U.S. under Temporary Status Program, speaking to supporters and press through an interpreter.
Credit Paul Boger

Immigration advocates in Reno are calling on Congress to overturn the Trump Administration's recent decision to rescind temporary legal status for El Salvador residents living in the U.S. Reno Public Radio's Paul Boger reports.

Labor and religious leaders joined with members of PLAN -- the Progressive Leadership Alliance of Nevada -- say ending the program will act as an assault on families who are deeply rooted in the United States that goes against American values.

Cristina Recinos is an El Salvadoran citizen who has been living in the U.S. for the past 18 years under the TPS program. Through an interpreter, she says she is worried about returning to her country.

"It’s a concern because the gangs and violence they think that we have money because they think that we live in the U.S. and they try to get money from us and they even kill [us],” says Recinos. “It will be a problem because we don’t have jobs in my country.”

So far, all four of the Democratic members of Nevada's Congressional Delegation have issued statements condemning Monday's decision. As for the state's two Republicans, Senator Dean Heller did not respond to a request for comment and 2nd District Congressman Mark Amodei said in a statement that he was still studying the issue.

But for Bob Fulkerson, the state director of PLAN, the fight to keep the Salvadorans in the U.S. should be spearheaded by those most reliant on the immigrants -- Nevada's hospitality industry.

“Instead of standing up for workers what are these owners doing?” asks Fulkerson. “What are these CEO’s doing? Are they standing up for the workers that have made their families rich? They’re actually supporting politicians like Trump and like others that are making all of this happen.”

In all, there are about 5,700 Salvadorans living in Nevada, and according to the organizers of the event, roughly 1,000 of them are living in and around Reno.


A spokesperson for Senator Dean Heller did eventually respond to a request for comment. His remarks are listed below.

“Our immigration system is fundamentally broken, and Congress needs to work with the Administration on a solution that prioritizes border security while also providing certainty for individuals who came to this country through no fault of their own.” Senator Dean Heller