A woman who escaped dangerous conditions in El Salvador to move to Massachusetts is speaking out following the Trump administration's announcement on Monday that it was rescinding the temporary protected status of nearly 200,000 Salvadorans.
Midonia Portillo, who lives in Cambridge with her husband and her two U.S.-born children, explains that going back to her home country is not an option for her family.
"It's dangerous, there is no work, there is no future for my children who are born here," in America, she told Telemundo Neuva Ingleterra on Monday.
Her eldest son, Elmer Vivas-Portillo, is a 19-year-old student at Harvard University studying sociology. He said he called his mother immediately after seeing the breaking news alert on his phone.
"It was a moment of great emotion," he said, "of sadness, anger."
Portillo said the news left her surprised and speechless.
"I’m also concerned about my brothers, my nephews and my entire family," she said, adding that if they all return to El Salvador, that there will be no one left to send money back to the family members that still live there.
Like the Vivas-Portillo family, another 6,000 TPS beneficiaries that live in Massachusetts are now desperately looking for alternative ways to stay in the United States legally.
Salvadorans will have until Sept. 9, 2019 to leave the United States, adjust their legal status or face deportation. El Salvador joins Haiti, Nicaragua and Sudan as the fourth country whose citizens have lost special protection under President Donald Trump.