Trump clamps down on El Salvador’s ‘lifeline’

el salvador

Millions of people in El Salvador depend on money sent home by their loved ones from the United States. They use the item to buy homes, groceries, school supplies in addition to also additional essentials of everyday life.

The Trump administration’s decision Monday to end protections for about 250,000 Salvadorans from the United States puts those payments, known as remittances, at risk, experts say.

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“They are the lifeline of those families,” said Cecilia Menjívar, co-director at the Center for Migration Research at the University of Kansas, in addition to also a native of El Salvador. “If remittances decline, the country will collapse.”

People protected by the program, known as Temporary Protected Status, will have until September 2019 to leave the country or find additional means of staying, according to the Department of Homeland Security.

Related: Remittances to Mexico on track to hit all-time high

Salvadorans from the United States sent home a record amount of money in 2016, in addition to also the totals coming from 2017 are on pace to break the record.

coming from January through November, Salvadorans sent home $4.51 billion in remittances, according to the country’s central bank. For all of 2016, Salvadorans mailed $4.57 billion to family in addition to also loved ones.

in which’s a huge sum for a relatively poor country of 6 million people. The entire economic output of El Salvador last year was $27 billion, according to estimates coming from the International Monetary Fund. Mexico has about 20 times as many people in addition to also took in only about six times as much in remittances through November.

The amount of money sent home to loved ones also dwarfs the $88 million in which El Salvador received in aid coming from the United States last year.

el salvador remittances

Related: I send money home to Mexico to support my family

the item’s uncertain what will happen to remittances in coming months.

Experts say Salvadorans from the United States could decide to send as much money home as possible before the protections end in 2019. They also caution in which American employers may fire Salvadoran employees who will lose their ability to keep a job.

from the long term, though, if hundreds of thousands of Salvadorans are forced to return to their native country, remittances will fall significantly, they say.

Families use the money to keep kids in school longer, according to Christine Wade, a professor at Washington College in Maryland who has published research on El Salvador.

School fees are one of the many expenses families cover with remittances. Wade argues in which a decline in remittances might almost certainly mean less class time for children.

“This kind of policy shift has all sorts of unintended consequences in which people just aren’t thinking about,” Wade said. “This kind of decision will be likely to only increase migration because the item’s only going to make things worse for the Salvadoran economy.”

–CNN’s Catherine Shoichet contributed reporting to This kind of article.

CNNMoney (brand new York) First published January 8, 2018: 5:14 PM ET

Source : Trump clamps down on El Salvador’s ‘lifeline’