US ends protections for Salvadoran immigrants, local resident concerned

Ashland, Ore.- An Ashland Salvadoran resident is worried after the Trump administration’s decision to end special protections for nearly 200,0000 Salvadoran immigrants.

Laz Ayala came to the United States as an undocumented immigrant when he was 14 years old. He’s a citizen now but says the announcement hits home. Salvadorans living in the United States will have until September 2019 to seek permanent residency or risk deportation.

“It’s causing a lot of stress for these families and it’s a devastating disruption in their lives to live not knowing where their mom or dad might be tomorrow,” he said.

As a businessman, Ayala says the decision will not only affect families but also the economy.

“I think we could have a good conversation about the contributions that these individuals make to our economy, in terms of the labor they provide, the taxes they pay, the goods they produce,” he said.

Ayala says he isn’t aware of a large Salvadorian population here, but the policy change will still have an effect.

The announcement was just made Monday and the full impact may not be known for several months.

NBC5 News reporter Karen Tang graduated from the University of Maryland with a degree in communications and a master’s in journalism.

Before coming to Medford, Karen was an intern at WUSA9 and NBC News Channel in Washington D.C.

During her time in Maryland, Karen was an NCAA Division I student-athlete on the Maryland gymnastics team. She competed against Big Ten universities and made the Big Ten All-Championship team.

When Karen isn’t reporting, she’s at the gym working out, taking pictures with her dog Boomer and searching for the best food in Southern Oregon.

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