The program expired in 1994, but seven years later, President George W. Bush allowed as many as 150,000 Salvadorans to stay in the United States legally following deadly earthquakes that ravaged most of El Salvador. The 6.1 magnitude quake struck February 14, 2001, leaving some 260 dead and more than 2,260 wounded.
Salvadoran Temporary Protected Status holders have until September 2019 to obtain legal residency or leave the country, following a decision by the Trump Administration to end the designation for immigrants from El Salvador.
El Salvador has the world's second highest homicide rate, according to the United Nations. For example, a Maryland-based construction company founded by Salvadoran immigrants rebuilt the Pentagon after 9/11 - on time and under budget.
More than 200,000 Salvadorans face deportation from the United States next year - but most can't imagine returning to a country they left nearly 20 years ago, or leaving behind the children they raised in those decades.
"These actions against immigrant workers and their families will do nothing more than push hard working members and families back into the shadows and to the vast contractor pool without a voice or representation", Rigmaiden added. Finally, there is the matter of climate change, with the United States as the world's biggest historical contributor to greenhouse gas emissions.
Nearly exactly 17 years after the first natural disaster struck, what has changed? Homes, school, and hospitals were repaired and rebuilt since a massive 2001 quake.
Ironically, Trump has simultaneously deemed El Salvador safe, while also warning Americans of an "invasion" from Central America's massive criminal gang networks.
"I don't expect the 200,000 Salvadorians will be knocking at the door, but I expect a great number of people to come to Canada".
While discussing immigration, the president asked why the US was taking people from "s--hole" countries like Haiti and Africa, and not more people from countries like Norway.
The answer is because they are human beings who want a better life, just as Mr Trump's forebears wanted when they went to America.
"The Department of State warns USA citizens to carefully consider the risks of travel to El Salvador due to the high rates of crime and violence". Unions strongly support keeping both groups in the U.S. "For such reason and more, the US government has an ethical obligation to allow Salvadorans to migrate and reside in the United States". But what about when the people impacted by a bad situation are living next door to us? Nonetheless, these immigrants followed the law.
Discussions over TPS have since become part of the bipartisan negotiations for an immigration deal that would stop the deportation of young immigrants brought to the US illegally as children and enhance border security.
A report from the Center for American Progress says Salvadoran status holders contribute $109.4 billion to the gross domestic product over 10 years and that 45,500 of their households have mortgages.
I helped draft the TPS law and I know that it is more concerned with protection than with duration. "We are not welcome in our home anymore".
Matthew Rooney is director of economic growth at the George W. Bush Institute, and Laura Collins is the deputy director.