Talks have been going on for a while now pertaining to what Trump and his administration were going to do with the renewal of the Temporary Protected Status (TPS) program regarding Central American countries and Haiti. Late yesterday, the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) announced it was ending TPS benefits for over five thousand Nicaraguan nationals.
The TPS program allows nationals citizens of countries which have been greatly affected by natural or man-made disasters to live and work in the U.S. until the devastating conditions which have affected their country have dissipated to the extent that the particular country has returned to normal.
Yesterday evening, Acting DHS Secretary Elaine Duke announced that Nicaraguan TPS would be terminated and gave the recipients until January 5, 2019 to arrange their affairs and either leave the country or obtain legal status through a different visa category before having to leave the country. This affects approximately 5,300 people who have lived and built lives in the US for approximately 20 years and have children, spouses and families that are US citizens.
He continued, “It seems this administration continues to make announcements of decisions which affect enormous amounts of immigrants with little to no regard to the lives of these good, hard working, law abiding people who have made this country their home for almost two decades.”
“In fact, many in these devastated countries depend on the income from the working family members who reside here under the TPS program,” said Fogle.
There are many that share in Fogle’s views such as Rep. James McGovern (D-Mass) who said “Secretary Tillerson and all those at the State Department who participated in this farce of an assessment should be ashamed,” in a statement Friday referring to the State Department’s assessment to the DHS that the conditions in Central American counties and Haiti who are currently under the TPS program no longer warrant TPS.
TPS deadlines are quickly approaching for Haiti, Honduras and El Salvador, who collectively have hundreds of thousands under TPS protection. In light of this administration’s poor and unpredictable immigration record, those people should begin seeking out alternative options for immigration reprieve while we continue to hold out hope that Congress will pass immigration legislation that is fair for all.