[February 2018] Trump’s order to send back Salvadorans will lead to terror in El Salvador

Bailey Blaike ’19

In fear of their lives, women from El Salvador seek shelter and ride in bulletproof cars after being deemed traitors by gangs in San Salvador. After being deported from the U.S., these women are forced to change their identity in order to stay safe from gang infested streets. Soon, this will be the life of nearly 200,000 more Salvadorans after Trump’s most recent reversal of immigration policies.

Trump decided to send back the Salvadorans living in the United States for the past decade under the Temporary Protected Status, which allowed Salvadorans to live and work legally in the U.S. after two tragic earthquakes struck El Salvador in 2001. Trump is removing these threatened, hardworking, tax paying, residents solely because they are not American citizens.  

This isn’t much of a surprise, as Trump took away protections from Nicaraguans last year and Haitians just a few weeks ago, who were also here for natural disaster relief. He has been very vocal regarding his immigration stance, making it clear that he does not want immigrants in our country.

Although The Department of Homeland Security claims that the damage from the earthquakes in El Salvador has been fixed, these Salvadorans are being sent back to one of the most unsafe countries in the world.

San Salvador, the capital of El Salvador, has been named the seventh most unsafe city in the world according to Business Insider. Sending these people who have grown accustomed to life in America would be sending them back to turmoil and distress.

According to The Guardian, in San Salvador, the gangs take over the streets, making it difficult to walk or even take public transportation. Women are constantly at risk and often are victims to sexual assault. It is difficult for most to say no to gang members who threaten them into into sex. These women dream of coming to America to escape the violence and terror they experience on a day to day basis.

Salvadoran lawyer Laura Morán explained the situation to The Guardian. “Deportees from the US face being killed or sexual violence. Most girls try to hide from the violence,” Morán said. “The problem is that most don’t have a place to go.”

Some children who were born in the United States will be allowed to stay but will be separated from their parents. To me, this concept is unfathomable. Separating a family solely based on their immigration status is unjust and unfair to those who have been granted protections here.

Trump never fails to act on his own priorities before the priorities of others. Regardless of how many Salvadorans are threatened by gang violence, it is irrelevant to Trump and his plan to deport all who are not American citizens regardless of the circumstance. These people are here for a reason and deserve a better chance at life. The Salvadorans have built a life for themselves in the U.S., and now it is being ripped out right from under them. No one should be subject to constant gun violence and sexual assault, whether or not they are a U.S. citizen.