Juan Cortez of Maryland owns his own trucking business — he’s almost paid off the $50,000 loan he took to start it — and he holds county contracts to plow snow every winter just outside Washington, D.C. After nearly a quarter of a century here, the Salvadoran immigrant is also the proud owner of a home, and he pays tens of thousands of dollars in annual taxes. He has a daughter in college and a son in high school who’s in the ROTC, the Reserve Officer Training Corps.
“My son wants to serve this country,” said Cortez, 47, who lives just miles from the nation’s capital. “But what If I can’t be here anymore?
Cortez has plenty of reason to worry. In a matter of months, the Trump Administration could turn this entrepreneur and dad and hundreds of thousands of others into instant undocumented immigrants, no longer allowed to live and work here legally. With the stroke of a pen, the Department of Homeland Security could either end — or extend — a quasi-legal state known as Temporary Protected Status, or TPS, that Cortez and 263,280 other Salvadorans already in the United States were granted way back in 2001. But no one knows quite what’s going to happen next.
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