Oct. 28 (UPI) -- The United States and El Salvador reached an agreement Monday to extend work permits for thousands of Salvadorans working and living in America under Temporary Protected Status.
The Department of Homeland Security announced the agreement will allow an estimated 250,000 Salvadorans protected under TPS to continue to legally remain in the United States until Jan. 2021.
"The administration's goal is to create an orderly and responsible process to repatriate Salvadorans and help them return home; however, a sudden inflow of 250,000 individuals to El Salvador could spark another mass migration to the U.S. and reinvigorate the crisis at the southern border," DHS said in a news release.
Last year, the DHS announced plans to terminate TPS protections for immigrants from El Salvador, Honduras, Sudan and Haiti that would have taken effect last month but was blocked by various court rulings.
Monday's agreement would also provide protection up to 356 days after the conclusion of lawsuits blocking the TPS withdrawal, possibly extending it past the Jan. 2021 deadline.
Acting DHS Secretary Kevin McAleenan and El Salvador Foreign Minister Alexandra Hill praised the deal as a sign of the relationship between the United States and El Salvador under Salvadoran President Nayib Bukele.
"The Salvadorans protected by the TPS are admirable people, who have worked for 20 years to build a future of well-being," Hill said. "Now, thanks to President Bukele, we can tell nearly 250,000 fellow citizens and their families that with the support of the United States they can continue to fight for their dreams."