FILE - In this Thursday, Nov. 23, 2017 file photo, President Donald Trump speaks to the media before speaking with members of the armed forces via video conference at his private club, Mar-a-Lago, on Thanksgiving in Palm Beach, Fla. Trump says he’s not playing ball with Time magazine as it decides its Person of the Year. The magazine counters that Trump has it all wrong. In a tweet Friday, Nov. 24, 2017, as he spent the Thanksgiving holiday in Florida, Trump sounded dismissive of the honor he received last year and could well receive again. (AP Photo/Alex Brandon, File)

The Latest: US to end special protections for Salvadorans

The Latest on the Trump administration decision on ending protections for Salvadorans in the U.S. (all times local):

10:20 a.m.

Officials say the Trump administration is ending special protections for Salvadoran immigrants, forcing nearly 200,000 to leave the country or face deportation.

El Salvador is the fourth country whose citizens have lost Temporary Protected Status under President Donald Trump. They have by far been the largest beneficiaries of the program, which provides humanitarian relief for foreigners whose countries are hit with natural disasters or other strife.

Two U.S. officials discussed the decision with The Associated Press on condition of anonymity because they were not authorized to speak publicly before the announcement.

One official said Salvadorans will have until September 2019 to leave the United States or adjust their legal status. Secretary Kirstjen Nielsen faced a Monday deadline whether to grant an extension.

– By Associated Press writer Zeke Miller.

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1:10 a.m.

The Trump administration faces a Monday deadline on whether to extend protections that would allow nearly 200,000 Salvadorans to stay in the U.S. legally.

Citizens of El Salvador are currently the beneficiaries of the Temporary Protected Status program. It provides humanitarian relief for foreigners whose countries are hit with natural disasters or other strife.

Secretary Kirstjen Nielsen faces a Monday deadline on whether to grant an extension of up to 18 months.

A decision to force the Salvadorans back to their native country would represent a serious challenge for El Salvador, which depends on remittances from wage-earners in the U.S.

In November, the administration ended protections for citizens of Haiti and Nicaragua. Citizens of Honduras may be next.

Author: AP
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