Trump Actions on Protected Status Prompt Outcry from Latino Lawmakers, Advocates

08 November, 2017, 00:22 | Author: Gregory Stephens
  • María Ulloa Funes an immigrant from Honduras who

Children hold posters asking the U.S. Federal Government to renew Temporary Protected Status during a press conference about TPS for people from Haiti, Honduras, Nicaragua and El Salvador.

The migrants were initially granted protected status in the United States after Hurricane Mitch slammed Central America in 1998, with renewals granted following other natural disasters.

It has been repeatedly renewed since.

"We are looking at the fact that temporary protected status means temporary, and it has not been temporary for many years", DHS spokesman David Lapan said earlier this month.

A supporter amongst a coalition of community leaders and immigrant advocates demonstrate outside USA immigration offices, calling on federal authorities to designate Ecuador for Temporary Protected Status (TPS) for its nationals in the aftermath of last April's 7.8 magnitude quake, Wednesday June 1, 2016, in NY.

The temporary protection for Nicaraguans will end in a year in order to allow for "an orderly transition", the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) said in a statement.


After the termination of the TPS designation, individuals will revert back to whatever legal status they had before they received TPS, senior administration officials said on a background call Monday night. Haitians status is set to expire in January 2018, affecting about 50,000 people, a lot of them in Florida, while Sanvadorans' status expires in March 2018, affecting almost 200,000 people.

Nicaraguans will now have until 5 January 2019 to legalise their status or leave, she said.

TPS for Nicaraguans will end on January 5, 2019, and Hondurans have received a grace period until July 5 of next year.

Given that numerous TPS recipients have been in this country for decades, administration officials said the White House would look to Congress to offer a permanent solution for TPS holders. In data shared with ThinkProgress, the United States Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) agency puts those numbers closer to 86,163 recipients for Honduras and 5,349 recipients for Nicaragua as of the end of calendar year 2016. The secretary of homeland security decides whether a country is unsafe for its nationals to return, revoking or extending the special protected status.

The largest group of TPS recipients are from El Salvador, The Washington Post has reported.

Last week, Secretary of State Rex Tillerson wrote a letter to Duke stating he would like to end the provisional immigration program, citing improved conditions in Central America and Haiti. At tomorrow's confirmation hearing, Senators will have an opportunity to seek clarity from Nielsen about the direction the department will take on TPS and other immigration matters. But while the country continues to suffer from extreme poverty, Kelly told members of Congress this summer that conditions for which TPS was granted have largely been resolved.

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