DHS Ends Temporary Protected Status For Hondurans

Ivan Schwartz
May 7, 2018

The Trump administration has announced the end of temporary protections for thousands of Honduran immigrants.

They now will have to leave or be granted another immigration status by January 2020.

Honduras's government said it "profoundly regrets" the end of the programme. "Returning tens of thousands of people to a country with a staggering unemployment rate, high rates of violence, and few available resources to support them could quickly become a tipping point for communities", said Conor Walsh, the country representative in Honduras for Catholic Relief Services. "These families have lived in the United States for 20 years and re-integrating them into the country will not be easy if they decide to return", he said.

Immigrants and activists protest near the White House to demand that the Department of Homeland Security extend Temporary Protected Status for more than 195,000 Salvadorans on January 8 in Washington, D.C. At least 57,000 Hondurans have now similarly had their TPS revoked.

"The administration's decision to end TPS for Honduras is untenable".

The 2020 deadline gives time for people with TPS "to arrange for their departure or to seek an alternative lawful immigration", the statement reads. The announcement comes just months after the USA ended similar programs for Haitians, Nicaraguans and Salvadorans. Their status will expire in 2019. The administration also recently ended the program for Haiti and Nepal.

TPS critics have complained that repeated extensions in six- to 18-month increments of the status, sometimes for decades, has given beneficiaries de facto residency in the United States.

Mercy Sister Patricia McDermott, president of the Sisters of Mercy of the Americas, was similarly disappointed with the decision announced May 4 by Kirstjen Nielsen, the U.S. Secretary of Homeland Security.

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Most of the other countries that have come up for TPS review have had the status terminated, except for Syria, which is in the midst of a devastating war.

The figure represents a small fraction of the estimated 1.1 million-plus Hondurans living in the United States, who each year send home remittances totaling some $4.2 billion, or almost one-sixth of Honduras' $26 billion gross domestic product.

"This is another shortsighted decision by the Administration, and while I'm extremely disappointed, I've long said Congress has a responsibility to step up and put an end to the anxiety and uncertainty young immigrants brought to our country as children and those contributing to our country under the TPS program face because of these short-term Executive mandates", he said.

"The status of democracy in the country is clearly in doubt with the election of Hernandez and the repression of protesters that has taken place since the election", Allison said.

"I don't believe we will see that wave of individuals coming to Canada", he told the Canadian Broadcasting Corp. The program allowed them to live and work in the U.S. after the devastating earthquakes in 2001.

TPS was created in 1990 by Congress.

Karen Valladares, the director of the National Forum for Migration, a non-governmental organization in Honduras, said people continue to leave because of gang and drug-related violence and lack of economic opportunities.

The Department of Homeland Security said conditions in the country had "notably improved" since the disaster.

Other reports by GizPress

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