Connecticut Salvadorans fret over end to temporary protection status

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NORWALK -

The Trump administration's decision to halt special immigration status for 200,000 Salvadorans has implications for many Connecticut residents with ties to El Salvador.

The government began granting temporary protection status for immigrants from the country following a destructive earthquake in 2001. It killed hundreds of people and leveled thousands of homes.

Zoila Marival, who owns El Sabor Salvadoreno in Norwalk with her husband, says her customers have been following the story closely on Spanish television.

Marival herself will not be affected, but she says the decision to revoke protection status could impact her siblings.

If they have to leave, that could mean significant changes in their lives. El Salvador faces economic hardships, and many immigrants in the United States send money home to relatives to help them survive.

But federal officials say the South American country has been receiving international aid in the years since the earthquake, and that the temporary protections were designed to be temporary.

Attorney Alex Meyerovich is working to get one of his clients a green card to keep her in the country. Jessica, the client, is a registered nurse in Bridgeport. She says she's afraid of being forced to return to a country she describes as impoverished and dangerous.

Meyerovich says that sending people back to El Salvador isn't in the interest of anyone.

"There will be empty houses," he says. "There will be abandoned credit cards, abandoned loans, abandoned houses."

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