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The administration has pushed to strongly curtail the use of TPS, a protection provided for by law, saying that the repeated extensions of the typically two-year protections by previous administrations of both parties have ended the "temporary" piece of the status.

El Salvador has maintained TPS since 2001 when a major natural disaster devastated the country.

About 200,000 Salvadorans who have been in the US since at least 2001 will become eligible to be deported next year, the Trump administration announced Monday.

WASHINGTON ― The Trump administration will tell about 200,000 Salvadorans who have been living in the US for 17 years or more that they need to get out by September 2019 or face deportation, according to two news reports on Monday. It does not necessitate that applicants be legal immigrants to the United States.

The Department of Homeland Security has chose to not renew the program, which provides humanitarian relief for foreigners whose countries are hit with natural disasters or serious conflict. That decision prompted heavy pressure from the White House to end the protections, sources said, though Duke later denied accounts that said she felt distressed and disappointed by the interference from Kelly. The U.S. has been deporting tens of thousands of illegal immigrants to El Salvador over the last few years, which she concluded means the country is prepared to welcome back its citizens.

Nielsen added the 18-month delay gives Congress time to address the issue.

The Department of Homeland Security, which administers TPS, did not respond to a request for comment.

Trump campaigned on a hard-line approach to immigration and his allies have said the temporary protections have persisted far beyond their original intent.

There is one area of agreement between the groups on the right like FAIR and NumbersUSA and advocates on the left who say ending temporary protected status for El Salvador would be an unnecessary and cruel move - Nielsen's decision will toss a political hot potato to Congress. The decision was criticized by Republican and Democratic lawmakers from Florida.

Oscar Chacón, executive director of Alianza Americas, a network of Latin American and Caribbean immigrant groups in the United States, said the decision puts the Salvadorans in danger. "These are Salvadorans who have been living in the United States with work permission for nearly 20 years. And the idea that we're going to try to drive them back to a country that is engulfed in weak governance and corruption and violence is unthinkable".