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Canada Trump policy could lead to immigration wave in Windsor

00:51  12 january  2018
00:51  12 january  2018 Source:   windsorstar.com

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011018-10-moreangela: Angela Ventura, representing the El Salvador Association of Windsor, is pictured Jan. 10, 2018. She thinks Salvadorans will start coming to Windsor because of U.S. President Donald Trump's policies.© Nick Brancaccio, Windsor Star Angela Ventura, representing the El Salvador Association of Windsor, is pictured Jan. 10, 2018. She thinks Salvadorans will start coming to Windsor because of U.S. President Donald Trump's policies. Windsor is being warned it could be hit with a wave of immigrants and asylum seekers after the U.S. killed protected status for more than 200,000 Salvadorans that had been in place nearly two decades.

U.S. Homeland Security announced this week it is withdrawing a Temporary Protected Status first offered in 2001 for people who have since started businesses, bought homes and had children in the States.

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Angela Ventura, with the El Salvador Association of Windsor, said most people forced to leave the United States will head to Canada and many will show up in Windsor.

“It’s a border city,” said Ventura, who received calls on behalf of 25 anxious Salvadorans in the last two days.

“They want to come here. They’re not going back home, because home is not El Salvador anymore for them.”

The Temporary Protected Status was first granted after two devastating earthquakes in 2001 killed about 1,000 people and left hundreds of thousands of people homeless in El Salvador, also one of the world’s most violent countries.

In 2016, the Obama administration extended the protected status for 18 months because El Salvador still hadn’t recovered from the earthquakes and was unable to take in such a large number of people.

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On Monday, President Donald Trump ended that reprieve, giving Salvadorans with protected status until Sept. 9, 2019, to get out of the U.S. or face deportation.

Ventura said people had been hoping for a last-minute extension or change of heart from the Trump administration, or that he would be ousted over some scandal.

“Salvadorans are coming from earthquakes, war, stuff like that,” she said. “We base everything on miracles.

“The investigation with the president, they just thought it will be over or he will resign. It was a hope.”

In the wake of the protected status cancellation, the Canadian government has sent out a warning that people should not consider this country a safe haven.

The Canadian government has started a campaign to prevent people from heading here over fears they might try to cross “irregularly” or apply for refugee status when they don’t qualify. The government has said if people do that and their claim is denied, they could be deported back to El Salvador.

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Windsor West MP Brian Masse said Canada needs to be prepared for groups of people trying to cross the border after being singled out in the U.S.

“That’s just the reality of having an unpredictable president,” he said.

But he added that Canada can’t be “reactionary to Trump’s decree.”

“We have to have faith and trust in our system to examine those individuals and see whether they’re eligible or not eligible to come to Canada through our immigration process,” he said. “It should be vetted like just like anything else. There could be political motivations for the Trump administration to look at different segments or different populations and we should just be doing it based on the merit of the individuals.”

Ventura said most people likely will not try getting into Canada illegally or seek refugee status.

“I am pleading to the government of Canada to promote all their categories of immigration,” she said. “Not just the refugee but all the categories like construction, provincial nominee, entrepreneur and small business owners, trade and professional skills. People can qualify for those. Don’t assume that Salvadorans will come and take advantage.”

Border could be tested anew by Salvadorans

  Border could be tested anew by Salvadorans OTTAWA - The federal government's contingency plans for a new surge of asylum seekers at the border this winter could be put to the test with the pending U.S. decision on the fate of 200,000 Salvadorans. The Trump administration is on the cusp of deciding whether to renew the temporary protected status that's allowed Salvadorans to live in the United States without fear of deportation since 2001. The U.S. has been cancelling the protected status program for nationals from several countries over the last few months, arguing that the temporary intent of the program has been abused.© Provided by thecanadianpress.

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Most of them have been working and paying taxes in the U.S. since they’ve been there, she said.

“They learned the language, they study, they work,” said Ventura. “They can bring skills, like professional skills and trade skills, to the country. Some of them are business owners, so they can bring entrepreneurship to Canada.”

Ventura also pointed out that many don’t want to leave the U.S. and will likely try to stay there.

“A lot of the people who have TPS in the United States, they didn’t apply for permanent residence because they were afraid if they didn’t get the residence they would lose the TPS,” she said. “But now there is no choice but to explore a way to stay in the United States, too. Not everybody is going to leave the country.”

She was hopeful that individual states see it in their best interests to find ways of helping people stay in the U.S. For example, she said, there are about 50,000 Salvadorans living in California. About 68 per cent of them own homes.

“It means their income is suitable for mortgages,” said Ventura. “It means that they pay taxes. What would happen to the state of California if 45,000 to 50,000 people leave the country? So I am pretty sure that different states are going to work to let them stay. If I was a government official in the state of California I would start being creative.”

twilhelm@windsorstar.com

Twitter.com/WinStarWilhelm

Angela Ventura, representing the El Salvador Association of Windsor, is pictured Jan. 10, 2018. She thinks Salvadorans will start coming to Windsor because of U.S. President Donald Trump’s policies.

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