MEXICO CITY — El Salvador's foreign minister is urging his countrymen to renew their temporary protected residency, even though the U.S. government plans to end the program.

There is a 60-day renewal period from Jan. 18 to March 19. In early January, U.S. Homeland Security officials announced the end of the program known as TPS which was granted to Salvadorans after a devastating 2001 earthquake. They have until Sept. 9, 2019 to leave the country or face deportation.

But Foreign Minister Hugo Martinez urged Salvadorans who can to renew their TPS status, noting it could make them eligible for any successor program, and would at least allow them to stay though the grace period.

TPS currently shields about 195,000 of the estimated 2 million Salvadoran migrants in the United States.