Nicaraguan Immigrants To Lose Temporary Protected Status In The US

Nicaraguan Immigrants To Lose Temporary Protected Status In The US

Nicaraguan immigrants, who have lived in the United States for almost two decades, will have 12 months to leave their homes.

The US government has announced the end of a program which gives 5,300 Nicaraguan immigrants temporary protection in the United States, while tens of thousands of Hondurans will have their stay extended.

There is talk at the Department of Homeland Security and Democratic and Republican offices about potentially using the Diversity Visa Lottery Program, which Trump wants to end, to help Haitians and other TPS members to get permanent residency. The renewals are a source of some controversy in the U.S. Some critics feel the benefits have basically become permanent, because some nationals from Honduras and Nicaragua have held the status for as long as 20 years. Nicaraguans' and Hondurans' work authorization cards were set to expire on January 5, 2018. Haitians affected by the decision number 46,000.

Congress is the only body with the authority to create a path to permanent legal status for TPS holders. The Post reports the decision was keenly observed by the roughly 200,000 Salvadorans (here following 2001 earthquakes) and 50,000 Haitians (2010 quake) whose own TPS designation expires in 2018; the latter group will learn their fate by November 23, reports Politico.

The Washington Post reported Friday that Secretary of State Rex Tillerson paved the way for TPS to be withdrawn for Central Americans and Haitians by sending a letter to DHS stating that conditions in those countries had improved to the point that people no longer needed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. As a result, TPS for that country will be extended for six months from its current expiry date of January 5 next year, to July 5, 2018.

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"We recognize that it's a sovereign decision of the USA, but we see also how troubled our compatriots are", Hernandez said.

For Rosa Cecilia Martínez, originally from El Congo, El Salvador, the elimination of the Temporary Protection Status (TPS) program would be devastating. As for the 57,000 Hondurans who have the same protection, a punt.

The presidents of both Honduras and El Salvador have urged the Trump administration to extend the program, citing the contributions that TPS holders make to their economies by sending money home and the destabilizing effects of thousands of people returning.

TPS is a form of temporary legal residency established in the Immigration Act of 1990 that provides worker visas to more than 300,00 immigrants from 10 countries experiencing ongoing armed conflict, environmental disaster or other circumstances that make it potentially unsafe for them to return to home.

Previous administrations had found that the hurricane and subsequent environmental disasters disrupted living conditions to the point that the government couldn't adequately handle the return of its nationals. DHS had announced six months earlier that it was extending the protection for just another six months so for immigrants to prepare to go back.

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