Local Salvadorans face hard choices after temporary permits end

Posted: January 15, 2018 at 1 a.m.

Dale Hunt (right), of Winslow, waits at the counter Friday to purchase merchandise and cash his paycheck at Mercadito Salvadoreno as Jose Merlos, a seven-year employee at the store, waits on another customer at the convenience store in Springdale. The store is owned by Hugo Gonzalez, and offers money services, fresh produce and products from South America.

Thousands of people who left violence and other problems in El Salvador live in Northwest Arkansas. Now some might have to leave.

Jose Merlos, a seven-year employee at Mercadito Salvadoreno, works Friday behind the counter at the Springdale convenience store.

Products are on display Friday at Mercadito Salvadoreno in Springdale.

Temporary Protected Status

This program allows people from certain countries to temporarily stay in the United States without visas or other permits. The secretary of Homeland Security may designate a country for the program if it’s experiencing conditions that temporarily prevent the country’s people from returning safely or if the country can’t accommodate their return.

The program includes:

• El Salvador*

• Haiti*

• Honduras

• Nepal

• Nicaragua*

• Somalia

• Sudan*

• South Sudan

• Syria

• Yemen

  • These countries are being phased out from the program in the coming months or years.

Source: U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services

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