USA to end protected status for Nicaraguan immigrants in 2019

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

Children hold posters asking the U.S. Federal Government to renew Temporary Protected Status during a press conference about TPS for people from Haiti, Honduras, Nicaragua and El Salvador. Without TPS, those individuals revert to whatever status they had previously - which could leave large numbers as undocumented immigrants.

"These are people who have had to go to the Department of Homeland security every 18 months, and have shown their papers, their information, their records, have paid to be renewed".

But on Monday the acting secretary of the Department of Homeland Security announced that the "substantial but temporary conditions caused in Nicaragua by Hurricane Mitch no longer exist" and that its TPS designation would therefore have to be terminated.

More than 5,000 Nicaraguans and about 85,000 Hondurans are beneficiaries of that program.

The Trump administration will end the protected immigration status of thousands of Central Americans who have been living in the U.S. almost two decades, urging Congress to act if it wants to spare those individuals from being uprooted.

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The Congressional Research Service said this month that only 57,000 people from Honduras and 2,550 from Nicaragua were expected to renew their TPS status.

Per a statement, "Based on the lack of definitive information regarding conditions on the ground [in Honduras] compared to pre-Hurricane Mitch", the TPS protection has been extended for six months.

Last week, Secretary of State Rex Tillerson said that the conditions in Central America and Haiti no longer justify the need for protections under TPS in a letter to DHS.

Local advocate Francisco Portillo, president of the Honduran group Francisco Morazán, said immigration organizations will keep fighting to win legalization for Honduran TPS holders.

DHS has called on Congress to enact a permanent solution to resolve the seemingly imminent elimination of TPS in the memo and give options to the thousands of immigrations that are losing or may eventually lose these protections.

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According to one study, Haitians, Salvadorans and Hondurans comprise the three largest TPS holders and together have a total of 273,000 children who were born in the United States and have American citizenship. "We, the USA government, have created a situation where people have lived in this country a long time".

The 50-year-old, who is originally from Leon, Nicaragua and now lives and works in Washington, DC, said there is a job shortage in his home country that would make it hard and expensive to return.

Nicaragua made no such call to the USA government, according to the DHS statement.

The DHS has given the Nicaraguan migrants 14 months to leave the US or change their immigration status. But they say those problems should be addressed in other ways, and returning migrants can help foster development in their home countries. He plays lacrosse at Ohio Valley University in West Virginia, she said. "That will send them underground, and make them subject to all sorts of abuses, but also without being able to contribute to the economy in the way they have been".

"While it is clear that TPS protection was meant to provide refuge for people of color in Honduras, Nicaragua and Haiti, their homelands have yet to reach a place of safety or economic prosperity which would make their return feasible", Eddie Carmona, director of PICO National Network's LA RED immigrant justice campaign, said in a statement.

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"My kids deserve to live in their home country", said Osorio, who works at the Walt Disney resort in Orlando.

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