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TPS withdrawal will affect El Salvador

Monday, January 15, 2018

Various Central American countries – especially El Salvador – could experience an important economic setback, following the loss of remittances from workers expelled from the United States.

As many as 200,000 Salvadorans stand to be deported, following a decision by the Trump administration to terminate the right to reside in the United States through the Temporary Protected Status program.

Salvadorans constitute the largest group of foreigners which uses TPS, granted in previous years as a way of protecting people considered to be under serious threat, if they were returned to a country, which was one of the most violent in the world.

Remittances in 2016 contributed some $4.6 billion to an economy with a total productive value of $27 billion, according to El Salvador’s central bank.

Guatemalans and Hondurans, who make up another big group of TPS beneficiaries, may also be affected.

On other other hand, the Trump administration looks favorably on the government of Honduran president Juan Orlando Hernández, which generally takes a pro-business line, including protection for foreign investors.

For its part, Guatemala followed Washington in announcing last month that it would move its Israeli embassy from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem.