By Rick Sallinger

AURORA, Colo. (CBS4) – Colorado Republican Congressman Mike Coffman is going against the Trump Administration by trying to allow immigrants on Temporary Protective Status to remain in the U.S.

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(credit: CBS)

The status is to allow people from countries stricken by natural disaster or diseases to come in to the U.S. until it’s safe to go back to their home nations.

Those with that status include people from Central America, the Caribbean, Africa and parts of Asia.

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(credit: CBS)

If there is one family that embodies the immigration issues of today, it is the Velasquez’s. Jorge has Temporary Protective Status, while his wife Araceli is undocumented and living in sanctuary in a Denver church.

They are among thousands who have come from El Salvador to Colorado. We first met Jorge in January. At the time he expressed displeasure he and others could lose their protection and be removed.

“I’m very mad for this because I work here every day. It’s no good,” he said.

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CBS4’s Rick Sallinger interviews Jorge Velasquez. (credit: CBS)

Now he and others who face loss of their Temporary Permanent Status are rallying for an extension or a more permanent solution.

“We are humans. We have a family. We have been living in this country for more than 20 years,” Evelyn Hernandez told the Congressman Coffman at a news conference.

They had a sympathetic ear with Coffman who has many Salvadorans in his district.

“They really should be given a regular immigrant status that would allow them to remain here,” Coffman said. He has introduced legislation to try to assist those on Temporary Protective Status.

A bus tour called Journey for Justice is traveling the country in support of those from more than a dozen countries in the U.S. on temporary status.

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Sandra Granados (credit: CBS)

One of those on board is Sandra Granados.

“This is the benefit some countries recieve when we have this type of problem,” she said.

As of now the deadline on those with temporary protective status from El Salvador to leave the U.S. is September 2019.

CBS4’s Rick Sallinger is a Peabody award winning reporter who has been with the station more than two decades doing hard news and investigative reporting. Follow him on Twitter @ricksallinger.

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