“I’m terrified of missing you growing up.”

Maria Rivas & Emily

In 2000, Maria Rivas immigrated from El Salvador to the United States. A year later, she received Temporary Protected Status (TPS) to stay and work legally in the U.S.

TPS is set to expire for people from El Salvador in September of 2019. But if Maria is forced to leave the U.S., she won’t risk taking her American-born children with her — and her 15-year-old daughter Emily will stay behind to live with close family friends.

Faced with the possibility of being separated from her children, Maria remembers the promise that she made to her daughter Emily.

In January 2020, USCIS (United States Citizenship and Immigration Services) announced it is extending the validity of work permits for El Salvadorans with TPS through January 4, 2021.

Presented as part of our animation season “Moments that Define,” in which StoryCorps participants share the turning points that have shaped them.

Listen to Maria and Emily’s original StoryCorps interview.

Para subtítulos en español, haga click en el ícono de YouTube en la esquina derecha, y escoja “Spanish” bajo la opción de “settings” y “subtitles/CC.