The U.S. government will suspend a protection extended to some 262,500 citizens of El Salvador who have lived in the United States for nearly two decades, senior administration officials announced Monday.


Temporary Protected Status, which shielded these El Salvador nationals from deportation following devastating earthquakes in 2001, will end Sept. 9, 2019.


On that day, those who have lived and worked legally in the United States for nearly two decades will revert to the immigration status they had before they received TPS, if it is still valid. They also have the option to apply for other immigration benefits, like family- or work-based visas.


The decision will almost certainly leave some Salvadorans in an undocumented status, making them immediately vulnerable to deportation.


In a regularly-scheduled review of the conditions in El Salvador, the Trump administration determined that the Central American country had recuperated enough from those natural disasters for its nationals in the United States to return, a senior administration official told journalists in a conference call Monday morning.


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