Current News



Salvadorans and other 'temporary' immigrants weigh what's next after the U.S. withdraws welcome mat

Nereida Moreno, Chicago Tribune on

Published in News & Features

"How can we return to a situation like that? It's terrible," she said. "My mom says you can't even take a walk in the neighborhood without being in danger."

President Donald Trump reportedly referred to El Salvador, Haiti and some African nations as "shithole countries" in a January meeting to discuss a bipartisan immigration deal. The White House has denied that he used that phrase, though Sen. Dick Durbin, D-Ill., insists that Trump said it "repeatedly."

Navarro called Trump's remarks "hurtful" and said they motivated him to get involved in advocacy work.

"Donald Trump thinks we're all part of MS-13, but that's not the case," he said, referring to a criminal gang. "He doesn't know the reality of the situation or why we're here. We didn't come here to take a single penny away from U.S. citizens. On the contrary, we are contributing to the country's economy."

Navarro said he left El Salvador in 1991 because of the 12-year civil war that destroyed his home. He entered the U.S. illegally in 1992 and applied for the program as soon as it was established. Now, he works two jobs -- he's a full-time cook and part-time factory worker -- to help support his three U.S.-born children and pay his mortgage.

Navarro said he's planning to apply for permanent residency through his U.S.-born daughter, who will be 21 in November and can apply on his behalf.

--Sponsored Video--

Navarro said he wants to fight for other Dreamers and people with temporary protected status who don't have that option.

"We want Congress to understand that we didn't come here to steal jobs or anything like that. We're not asking for a handout," Navarro said. "We just want to stay. This is home."

(c)2018 Chicago Tribune

Visit the Chicago Tribune at

Distributed by Tribune Content Agency, LLC.



blog comments powered by Disqus