USA sets final date for Nicaraguan immigrants' protected status
- Author: Adam Floyd Nov 08, 2017,
Nov 08, 2017, 0:20
The Department of Homeland Security announced Monday night that about 2,000 Nicaraguans who have Temporary Protected Status must leave or seek another form of legal residency, though those affected will be able to stay until January 5, 2019. Hondurans' TPS has been temporarily extended until July 2018 to allow USA officials more time to assess conditions in Honduras.
The decision to end the status for Nicaraguans could be seen as a move to fulfil Trump's vow to tighten restrictions on immigration.
The status had been granted to some Nicaraguans who had fled their homeland after the devastation caused by Hurricane Mitch in 1998. While it was due to expire in January 2018, she said it would be delayed by one year "to allow for an orderly transition". Haitians affected by the decision number 46,000. Haiti received its initial TPS designation in 2010 after an quake left 1.5 million people homeless and injured 300,000 people. The renewals are a source of some controversy in the U.S. Some critics feel the benefits have basically become permanent, because some nationals from Honduras and Nicaragua have held the status for as long as 20 years.
The decision affects about 2,500 Nicaraguans, many of whom have lived in the USA for almost two decades, raising US-born children.
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BuzzFeed News previously reported that years after the U.S. designated El Salvador and Honduras for TPS, only residual effects of the natural disasters exist, but they have been compounded by unemployment and gang violence.
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.
Secretary of State Rex Tillerson sent a letter to DHS last week recommending the removal of Central Americans and Hattians protected under TPS.
Both the Bush and Obama administrations argued that Central American nations which were granted TPS after Hurricane Mitch could not cope with the return of thousands of their nationals and extended the programme's duration.
"We have had to renew our work permits constantly but it is different under this administration", she said. "They are the fabric of our communities, and our economies and our industries", said Maria Rodriguez of the Florida Immigrant Coalition. "We, the USA government, have created a situation where people have lived in this country a long time". Earlier this year, the Trump administration ended TPS for Sudanese recipients, who were told to arrange their departure or find another way to legally stay in the United States once their status expires in November 2018.