Nicaraguan Immigrants To Lose Temporary Protected Status In The US

by Antonio Miles November 8, 2017, 0:35
Nicaraguan Immigrants To Lose Temporary Protected Status In The US

Secretary of State Rex Tillerson said last week that the conditions in Central America and Haiti no longer justify the need for protections under TPS.

"The practical application would be that would be the date they would have to leave [the country] or by some other means regulate their status", one senior administration official said on the call.

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 risky for them to return to home.

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.

Nicaragua and Honduras were originally designated January 5, 1999, because of destruction wrought by Hurricane Mitch.

"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. Haitians affected by the decision number 46,000.

In March, DHS extended TPS for Haiti by six months, although many interpreted this move as a sign that they opposed the program and would be terminating it this fall.

A supporter amongst a coalition of community leaders and immigrant advocates demonstrate outside US 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 natural disaster, Wednesday June 1, 2016, in NY.

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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. But the very nature of TPS is antithetical to the Trump administration's immigration policy.

Immigration officials regularly decide whether to renew the programme every six to 18 months for each country.

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

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

"Every 16 hours there is a woman killed in Honduras", said Oscar Chacón from the Alianza Américas, stating the country remains one of the most unsafe places in the world.

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

While spared on Monday, Honduran TPS recipients say the extension just draws out the fear that their permits will not be renewed. If they don't comply, they will be considered undocumented migrants and could face deportation.


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