In ending the protections for other groups, the Homeland Security Department has urged outraged lawmakers to enact legislation rather than continue to force the secretary to make the decisions.
"The statutory conditions supporting El Salvador's TPS designation on the basis of an environmental disaster, specifically the devastation caused by major earthquakes in 2001, no longer exist", the official said.
Homeland Security Secretary Kirstjen Nielsen's decision, while not surprising, will send shivers through parts of Washington, Los Angeles, New York, Houston and other metropolitan areas that are home to large numbers of Salvadorans, who have enjoyed special protection since earthquakes struck the Central American country in 2001.
The Trump administration will end the Temporary Protected Status (TPS) program for Salvadorans by September 9, 2019, giving recipients the chance to reregister and renew their current status to live and work in the United States through one final 18-month extension.
The decision to end TPS for Salvadorans is part of the administration's broader push to deport immigrants who are in the United States illegally.
"The end of TPS for El Salvador is a devastating betrayal for thousands of families who arrived at the United States seeking safety as well as their USA citizen children".
"Anyone who knows anything about El Salvador knows that it has become one of the most unsafe countries in the world and you are now going to be deporting people who have lived in this country without any criminal background, for the last 20 years on average, to a country where their lives will be in grave danger", Young said. An estimated 200,000 Salvadoran immigrants have the protection, according to a November report by the Congressional Research Service.
Homeland Security also said more than 39,000 Salvadorans have returned home from the U.S.in two years, demonstrating El Salvador's capacity to absorb people.
Homeland Security officials said the administration was open to Congress coming up with an amnesty allowing them to remain in the U.S.
Salvadoran immigrant Orlando Zepeda, who came to the U.S.in 1984 to flee civil war, said he wasn't surprised by Monday's decision given the administration's position on other countries.
"Only Congress can legislate a permanent solution addressing the lack of an enduring lawful immigration status of those now protected by TPS who have lived and worked in the United States for many years", the announcement stated. That is more than three times the number of people in the next largest group with the status, Hondurans.
The decision comes amid intensifying talks between the White House and Congress on an immigration package that may include protections for hundreds of thousands of young immigrants who came to the country as children and were temporarily shielded from deportation under an Obama-era program.
Administration officials have said TPS is supposed to provide a temporary haven for victims, not a permanent status in the US.
More than 90 percent of TPS beneficiaries come from Honduras, El Salvador and Haiti. The the Haitian protections are due to expire on January 22. She delayed a decision affecting more than 50,000 Hondurans, leaving that decision to Nielsen. Other countries covered are Nepal, Somalia, Syria and Yemen.