Salvadorans fear their country not prepared for returnees

SANTA TECLA, El Salvador (AP) — Washington’s announcement that nearly 200,000 Salvadorans will lose the temporary protected status that has allowed them to live in the U.S. is raising worries in El Salvador that a major source of income for the poor nation will be cut off.

The Central American nation of 6.2 million people received more than $4.5 billion in 2016 sent back by Salvadorans working in the United States. That accounted for 17 percent of El Salvador’s economy, according to government figures.

Yet amid the worry following Monday’s announcement there is also a hint of optimism that Salvadorans with many years of experience in the U.S. could bring expertise and investment to spur the economy.