That decision can take years.
In El Salvador, she says, "the only resource we have is our human resource, and we are proud of it". Because of President Trump's action, the DACA program is set to expire in a matter of weeks, and now he is reducing them to little more than a bargaining chip in a freakish quest not to bring reason to USA immigration policy, not to improve border security or protect this country, but to fulfill an especially repellent and outrageously wasteful campaign promise to build a physical barrier along the nation's southern border.
As Temporary Protected Status (TPS) ends for about 200,000 Salvadorans living in the US, some may venture to Quebec, following other groups who have also lost protections under the Trump administration. The administration, which ended the program, is requiring funding for a border wall and other restrictive measures as ransom for legislation protecting the "dreamers".
For young people targeted by gangs, life became so untenable that Salvadorans made up a quarter of the wave of unaccompanied minors who fled to the United States border with Mexico during the summer of 2014. "It's a temporary program", acknowledges the aspiring law student. "How we treat the most vulnerable in our society is reflective of who we are and whether we have learned anything in the 2,000 years since the birth of another immigrant child, born in a stable because his parents could find no room for him at the inn - an event we have just celebrated", he wrote.
But El Salvador is not safe.
As much as 88 percent of those immigrants work - much higher than the rate among U.S. citizens - while about a third own homes. The list includes: terminating TPS for Haitians, Sudanese and Nicaraguans; rescinding DACA; and arresting immigrants who follow laws, pay taxes and support their families. "This is a way to show the American people that not all immigrants who come to this country have the evil mind of destruction", he told the Post.
Alexander Ramos was deported to El Salvador from the United States seven years ago, forced to leave jobs as a gardener and at McDonald's after getting caught driving without a license. Beginning in September of next year, the refugees will no longer be legally allowed to live and work here, a country that has been their home for most of a generation.
When the status expires, Funke said, it will have the effect of splitting up families. "That's not the moral values of this country, to separate families". Ending TPS for the Salvadorans and others "would have immediate, expensive ramifications for our country and industry", the union said. The country has one of the world's highest homicide rates as a result of gang violence. Spagat reported from San Diego. But his family's situation isn't unique, Serrano said, adding that Salvadorans make up the second-largest Latino population in Bowling Green.
Supporters of Trump's move note that the program was meant to be "temporary" when created by Congress in 1990 to allow foreigners to remain in the US only a short time during armed conflicts, natural disasters or other extraordinary circumstances in their home countries. Today, some 195,000 Salvadorans are covered by TPS; they have 197,000 US citizen children among them, and have lived here for an average of 21 years. Like Salvadoran TPS holders nationwide, our fellow New Yorkers have been here on average for two decades.
"They just want to keep giving to this place", he said. His never-ending pronouncements on television have rarely if ever troubled me, and I have occasionally even found them amusing. They won't, Mr. Bukele says - or at least not without severely harming the economy and civil society.
The deepest sense of insecurity surrounding the TPS community now stems from the administration's ignorance of a fundamental reality: The longer people stay, the deeper their American roots grow.
But still, many, like Honduran immigrant Danilo Aleman, who stripped asbestos for three months, felt a duty to the United States. Subscribe to In These Times magazine, or make a tax-deductible donation to fund this reporting.
Rex Smith is editor of the Times Union. She studies history at the CUNY Graduate Center.