Jaime Contreras
Jaime Contreras Credit: Darrow Montgomery

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The Trump administration recently announced that it was ending temporary protected status (TPS)—a program that permits nationals from countries facing armed conflict, environmental disasters, and other extraordinary conditions to live legally in the United States—for 200,000 Salvadorans. El Salvador received TPS designation in 2001 following a series of earthquakes, and unless Congress acts, these long-term residents will have to find ways to remain in the country, legally or without documentation, or leave. This decision’s impact resonates throughout the D.C.-area, which more than 30,000 affected residents call home.

Jaime Contreras, the vice president for SEIU 32BJ, immigrated to the United States at age 13, escaping El Salvador’s civil war. He has since become a citizen, served in the Navy, and now advocates for immigrant and workers’ rights as a union leader. Contreras joined Washington City Podcast to respond to the Trump administration’s rationale for ending TPS and to discuss the impact the decision will have on the region’s residents, economy, and neighborhoods.

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Music for this episode was by Lee Rosevere, used under the Creative Commons license.