DHS ends protected immigration status for Nicaraguans, extends for Hondurans

Administration officials have been signaling their desire to end the protections arguing that a program that was supposed to provide a temporary respite after disaster and civil wars has instead become a permanent benefit. (Credit Carolyn Cole  Los Angel
A plea against deportation
Author

08 November, 2017

Congress is the only body with the authority to create a path to permanent legal status for TPS holders. "It is time for Congress to act and to do so before the end of the year", stated Dr. Delgado.

On Monday, the Trump administration announced that the Temporary Protected Status (TPS) program for Nicaraguan immigrants will end in January 2019 - meaning the approximately 2,500 Nicaraguans legally in the United States will have 14 months to find another way to remain in the country or go back to Nicaragua.

This legislation would protect Nicaraguans and TPS holders from certain countries, including El Salvador, Haiti and Honduras and allow them to pursue a pathway to citizenship. They also made clear that the DHS would not specifically target TPS holders who become undocumented once their status expires, but that they would still "prioritize criminal aliens". "DHS' action destroys the emotional security and compromises the mental health of thousands of US citizen children with a lifetime of consequences for their well-being", concluded Dr. Delgado.

McGrorty, executive director of Catholic Legal Services in the Archdiocese of Miami, said USA law is meant to be implemented "with a certain degree of kindness and compassion", and that sending people to countries that are ill-prepared to welcome them would do far more harm than good.

The Department of Homeland Security (DHS) eliminated the provision for Nicaraguans after determining they no longer needed relief from "substantial but temporary conditions" caused by the hurricane that ravaged the Central American country almost 20 year ago.

TPS provides temporary legal status in the United States to citizens of other countries where natural disasters or civil wars have made it too risky for them to return.

Rep. Mario Díaz-Balart, (R-Fl), is one of several Florida Republicans who had called for an extension of TPS; he criticized the decision in a statement.

Proponents of TPS for people from Central America and Haiti argue that ending the designation for those countries is counterproductive and could also drive more illegal immigration.

Order on anthem at cinemas may change
LiveLaw reported that the Supreme Court hinted at recalling its order, and that it is up to the government to decide. News18 quoted the bench as saying on Monday: "Cinema halls are places of entertainment after all".

Acting Homeland Security Secretary Elaine Duke "determined that those substantial but temporary conditions caused in Nicaragua by Hurricane Mitch no longer exist, and thus, under the applicable statute, the current TPS designation must be terminated", the statement said.

In addition, the DHS said the Nicaraguan government did not request that TPS be extended for its citizens in the United States. "And in fact by not renewing the Temporary Protected Status. they have actually made matters worse", Rodriguez said.

As ThinkProgress previously reported, some Haitian parents are weighing the costs of leaving their children here in the United States if they have to return.

The Trump administration eliminated temporary legal residency and deportation relief for thousands of immigrants from Nicaragua. The secretary of homeland security decides whether a country is unsafe for its nationals to return, revoking or extending the special protected status.

Belinda Osorio, a Honduran-American who lives and works in Florida and has been in the US for decades through TPS, told reporters at a conference call on Tuesday that she would not put her 14-year-old son in danger by going back to Honduras, regardless of the administration's eventual decision.

"Although they were born here, we want to keep our children with us", she said.

"I think they deserve to have some sense of belonging", he said.


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