Nicaraguan Immigrants To Lose Temporary Protected Status In The US

The Washington Post reported Friday that Secretary of State Rex Tillerson paved the way for TPS to be withdrawn for Central Americans and Haitians by sending a letter to DHS stating that conditions in those countries had improved to the point that people no longer needed protection.

TPS, which was first given to Nicaragua and Honduras in 1999 following Hurricane Mitch, seeks to protect people from countries ravaged by natural disasters or civil war. "People have been here for 25 years", Shannon said, "and for 25 years they have been working with a legal temporary visa".

"I am deeply pained by and strongly disagree with the decision to phase out the Temporary Protected Status for Nicaraguan nationals living in the United States", said Díaz-Balart.

"Haiti is a textbook case for an 18-month extension due to Hurricane Matthew, the cholera epidemic, and incomplete quake recovery", said Steve Forester, immigration policy coordinator with the Boston-based Institute for Justice & Democracy in Haiti.

Now the Trump administration is planning to end it in January 2019.

The other countries with TPS designations are El Salvador, Haiti, Nepal, Somalia, South Sudan, Syria and Yemen. DHS can renew the program for up to 18 months at a time.

But the bigger impact will come when the administration makes a final decision on Salvadorans and Haitians' status.

Gladys Nunez, from Honduras, has had TPS for many years. Roughly 250,000 US citizens are the offspring of TPS beneficiaries, so the announcement would likely force many families to make the hard decision of having to take their children with them.

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"Among the families with TPS work permits hearing of their status yesterday and in the coming weeks and months are an estimated 273,000 USA citizen children".

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. "Your typical TPS recipient will not fall into those priorities".

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.

"I have never been so uneasy as I am now", Flores told Al Jazeera.

The Trump administration is now calling on Congress to legislate a "permanent solution" and "provide a certain future" for these individuals.

BuzzFeed News previously reported that years after the U.S. designated El Salvador and Honduras for TPS, only residual effects of the natural disasters exist, but they have been compounded by unemployment and gang violence.

Ben Cardin of Maryland and the top Democrat on the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, said Monday, before the decision on Nicaragua and Honduras was announced. But the fate of TPS is more tenuous under President Donald Trump whose executive orders on immigration aim to limit legal immigration and deport undocumented immigrants.


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