January 8, 2018

(Los Angeles, CA) - Thomas A. Saenz, president and general counsel of MALDEF (Mexican American Legal Defense and Educational Fund), issued the following statement today in response to the Trump Administration’s announcement that it will end temporary protected status (TPS) for more than a quarter of a million immigrants from El Salvador:

"Having been informed by Donald Trump on Saturday that he is a ‘stable genius,’ we all learned today that apparently the resident horses in that stable all wear blinders. There is no other explanation for Secretary of Homeland Security Kirstjen Nielsen’s decision to end Temporary Protected Status (TPS) for immigrants from El Salvador. To reach such a critical decision affecting the entire nation, threatening the economy and communities, and targeting over a quarter-million long-term immigrants and their families, by considering only the continuing effects of a 2001 earthquake, without any analysis of equally dangerous conditions unrelated to the natural disaster that make return not only disruptive but life-threateningly dangerous, reflects inexcusably narrow thinking. Willful ignorance or studied neglect of these conditions are inconsistent with executive authority under the TPS program and contrary to American values. In the face of this cultivated narrow-mindedness, the Congress, with smart leadership that lives away from the Trump stable and its resident genius, must act to provide the logical and humane protections that Salvadoran TPS holders deserve."

Founded in 1968, MALDEF is the nation's leading Latino legal civil rights organization. Often described as the "Latino Legal Voice for Civil Rights in America" MALDEF promotes social change through advocacy, communications, community education, and litigation in the areas of education, employment, immigrant rights, and political access. For more information on MALDEF, please visit:

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