Honduras regrets loss of U.S. protection status

President Trump speaks at a National Rifle Association convention in Dallas

In 1999, Honduras was granted TPS after Hurricane Mitch destroyed much of the country.

Honduran immigrants are the sixth group of immigrants to lose TPS under the Trump administration - joining roughly 9,000 Nepalese immigrants, 200,000 Salvadoran immigrants, 50,000 Haitian immigrants, 2,500 Nicaraguan immigrants, and 1,000 Sudanese immigrants.

"Since 1999, conditions in Honduras that resulted from the hurricane have notably improved".

This type of decisions by the DHS, in addition to having serious humanitarian implications, will only aggravate the circumstance in the region, whose geographical proximity to the United States will make it a bigger problem in the long term. Lopez and tens of thousands of other Hondurans have a deadline of January 2020 to leave the country. She said groups like hers have heard that before. TPS is meant to protect foreign citizens from the after-effects of a particular crisis, not a country's general situation. Yet when congressional solutions become part of the debate and it actually moves somewhere and we see progress, we have a complete misdirection from the administration.

Those affected by the decision have been protected from deportation by what's known as temporary protected status, which allows immigrants to stay in the US after their countries are hit by an environmental disaster, epidemic, ongoing armed conflict or other extraordinary conditions.




Around 437,000 immigrants hailing from 10 countries have had temporary protected status, a designation created in 1990 to allow people from countries impacted by natural disasters like earthquakes or man-made disasters like war to have a short-term safe haven. The Homeland Security Department under Trump has now discontinued that status for almost all of those groups, including people from Sudan, Nicaragua, Nepal, Haiti, and El Salvador.

Jeanne Atkinson, executive director of the Catholic Legal Immigration Network, said the Trump administration attempted to paint a picture that it had "no choice but to terminate TPS", suggesting that past administrations that extended the protected status for Hondurans had not properly applied the law. Immigrant advocates say revoking them will drive the people affected underground. Honduran TPS holders will have until January 2020 before their protections expire. At the time, DHS Acting Secretary said that additional time was needed to assess conditions in Honduras due to a "lack of definitive information regarding conditions on the ground compared to pre-Hurricane Mitch". "Conditions simply have not sufficiently improved to safely and productively reintegrate TPS recipients in their home communities".

A DHS spokesperson told the Washington Examiner that Sec. Duke left the administration in April. That could clog up an already overwhelmed immigration court system and many immigrants may qualify for green cards under a special program for those who have lived in the country a long time, he said. President Juan Orlando Hernandez eventually won a second term amid fraud allegations that sparked protests that killed more than 30 people.

But there's another whole area where the administration can act on their desire to get rid of immigrants without congressional approval: targeting those legally in the United States under what is known as the Temporary Protected Status (TPS) program. "Not only would there be chaos caused here by this decision, but there would be an even worse burden placed on my country which is not able to receive us", he said.

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