They’ve lived legally in the United States for nearly two decades.
And time has nearly run out for the Trump administration to decide their fate.
The question officials must answer next week: Should these immigrants from El Salvador be allowed to stay?
Some worry the picture looks bleak. The administration has already announced plans to end TPS for immigrants from several other countries, including Haiti, Nicaragua and Sudan. And officials have made no secret of their desire to overhaul the immigration system.
With a decision looming, here’s a look at some of the key events and issues at play:
It started with an earthquake.
Neighborhoods were buried. Homes collapsed. More than 1,100 people were killed. Another 1.3 million were displaced.
Salvadoran immigration to the US has a long history.
El Salvador is about the size of New Jersey. And it’s nearly 2,000 miles from Washington.
But the small country of 6.2 million people has become a big deal in the US immigration debate.
MS-13: A new Public Enemy No. 1
The Trump administration has repeatedly tied the youth apprehended at the border to the notorious Mara Salvatrucha gang, known as MS-13.
And Trump frequently invokes MS-13 as he vows to step up immigration enforcement.
Immigrant rights groups say it’s misleading to use MS-13 as an excuse for any crackdown and note that many of the gang’s victims are immigrants.