Ex gang members in El Salvador say deportation from U.S. will increase bloodshed

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Ex gang members say deporting immigrants from the U.S. back to El Salvador will lead to more bloodshed. (KTRK)

Former gang members fear that President Trump's plan to lift special protections for Salvadoran immigrants will lead to more bloodshed in El Salvador.

The Trump administration announced it's ending Temporary Protected Status, a humanitarian program that allowed immigrants to live and work in the U.S. since earthquakes struck El Salvador in 2001.

The decision could force more than 200,000 immigrants to leave by September 2019 or be deported.

"Bringing over 200,000 people here after so many years, that's only going to create more poverty, more violence, and more crime," said Will, an ex-gang member.

Much of the violence has been driven by young Salvadorans who fled the civil war and natural disasters, grew up and joined gangs in the U.S. and then were deported back to El Salvador.

Will says the concern is that those who return to El Salvador will fall into gang violence or will have trouble leaving their old life behind because no one wants to hire them and people are still afraid.

Human rights groups say police have executed suspected gang members simply for having the wrong ink, haircut or sneakers. But police defend their use of force and say these groups are terrorists.

Salvadorans will have until Sept. 9, 2019, to leave the U.S. or adjust their legal status.

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