US immigration policy could send thousands back to El Salvador

Latin America

The United States announced last month that it will end its residency permits next year, affecting nearly 200,000 Salvadoran migrants under the Temporary Protected Status.

CGTN’s Franc Contreras reports how the deportations could mean big problems for El Salvador’s economy.

The U.S. isn’t the only country sending migrants home. Mexico recently surpassed the United States in deportations. When the undocumented are sent back, Salvadoran immigration officials gather the group together and meet them. They tell them the time, date and exactly where they are.

Officials report that the vast majority of forcibly returned migrants to El Salvador are men in their twenties. There are also some deported mothers and their children. All are given medical check-ups and free telephone calls to contact their families.

The director of El Salvador’s Office for Migrant Services, Ana Solorzano, said some leave the U.S. because of death threats from local criminal gangs.

“Some just left the country for different reasons. Some are away from a very long time, and they return to a country that they don’t even know. Some of them speak English better than they speak Spanish,” she explained.

New call centers provide some of the best-paying work for young Salvadorans and a few returning migrants. They earn $33 for a 10-hour day. But many Salvadorans would prefer to be away from home, and earning more money in the U.S.