A "great number" of Salvadoran asylum seekers fleeing the United States could end up in Windsor as their protected status ends.
The right to stay in the U.S. was extended to people from El Salvador after two deadly earthquakes shook the country in 2001, killing hundreds and leaving thousands homeless.
But on Monday the Trump Administration announced 200,000 Salvadoran immigrants now allowed to live and work in America will lose that right by Sept. 9, 2019 — giving them 18 months to leave or seek lawful residency.
Angela Ventura, a representative of the El Salvador Association of Windsor, said she's hopeful the "government of Canada will open the doors, not just for refugees, but the economic class … and the entrepreneurial stream" who will be looking for a new country to call home.
"I don't expect the 200,000 Salvadorians will be knocking at the door, but I expect a great number of people to come to Canada. They don't want to do it in an irregular way, they want to do it in a legal way.," she added.
Ventura said some Salvadorans may start trying to come to Canada right away, but others might wait until the summer of 2019.
"They will have some funds to come to Canada," she explained. "What they need is a place to work in peace."