Activists protest near the White House against the U.S. decision to end a program for nearly 200,000 Salvadorans.
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Being deported to an El Salvador he hadn't seen in more than three decades was a trauma Hugo Castro recalls clearly.Homeland Security Secretary Kirstjen Nielsen said Salvadorans who have stayed in the U.S. with temporary protected status – only a fraction of the estimated 2 million Salvadorans living there – would have to leave by Sept. 9, 2019, unless Congress came up with a solution allowing them to stay.The affected Salvadorans received the status after earthquakes in 2001 killed more than 1,000 people. Thousands more who arrived in the United States in recent years fleeing gang violence were not eligible.Eight months after arriving, Castro finally found work at the Salvadoran Immigrant Institute.Salvadorans transferred more than $4.5 billion from the U.S. in 2016, accounting for 17 percent of El Salvador's economy, according to government figures.Luis Membreno, an economic analyst in El Salvador, said that fear may be overblown. Many more Salvadorans are not in the program, with growing numbers entering the U.S. illegally over the past decade fleeing violence and poverty.
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