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Adjustment of status high priority for many Salvadorans

In Florida and throughout the nation, there are currently more than a quarter million immigrants from El Salvador living in the United States under temporary protected legal statuses. Most of these immigrants, among hundreds of thousands of others from other countries, fled to the U.S. following natural disasters or other emergency situations that made it unsafe to return to their countries of origin. It was recently announced that the program providing the temporary legal status may be coming to an end, and those affected are encouraged to seek an adjustment of status while there's still time.

These changes will affect nearly half a million people from at least 10 different countries. There are more Salvadorans living under protected statuses than any other ethnic immigrant group. As it stands, the immigrants have been informed that they have until late summer, 2019 to seek an adjustment of status or face possible removal.

Nearly 60,000 Haitian immigrants have been given an even earlier expiration date when their temporary protected status will become null and void. Those who entered the country lawfully may be able to apply for green cards; however, they would first have to satisfy all eligibility requirements for that process. The situation is a bit more complicated for any immigrant who entered this country without proper documentation.

Such immigrants have been told they are not eligible to seek adjustment of status once the temporary protection program is ended. An exception might be those who qualify for a U visa, which is another type of temporary protection offered to victims of violent crimes. Any Florida immigrant worried about temporary status protection or some other immigration issue may seek support by requesting a meeting with an experienced immigration attorney.

Source: ABC, "What you need to know about Temporary Protected Status", Geneva Sands, Jan. 9, 2018

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