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Tam Duong Jr.

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Haitians and Nicaraguans under TPS will have to leave the U.S. within the next two years

On November 6, Acting Secretary of Homeland Security, Elaine Duke, announced that the Temporary Protected Status (TPS) for Nicaragua and Honduras will be coming to an end. Nicaragua’s status will end on Jan. 5, 2019 and Honduras’ on July 5, 2018.

On Nov. 20, Duke announced that the TPS for Haiti would also be terminated with a delayed effective date of 18 months to allow an orderly transition before the designation terminates on July 22, 2019.

Temporary Protected Status is designated to countries by the Secretary of Homeland Security if the country has an ongoing armed conflict such as civil war, an environmental disaster such as an earthquake, hurricane or other extraordinary and temporary conditions rendering it unsafe for nationals to return.

Those eligible for TPS are not removable from the U.S., can obtain an Employment Authorization Document (EAD) and may be granted travel authorization. Once under TPS, beneficiaries can not be detained by DHS based off immigration status.

About 320,000 people are protected under TPS, which began in 1990 under President George Bush. Nationals of El Salvador, Haiti, Honduras, Nepal, Nicaragua, Somalia, Sudan, South Sudan, Syria and Yemen are currently under TPS, but the status of Nicaragua, Honduras and Haiti are threatened.

Almost 55,000 Haitians and 2,500 Nicaraguans will be asked to leave or confront deportation. The Obama administration offered TPS to Haiti back in 2010 when a catastrophic earthquake hit, displacing more than a million people and leading to a cholera outbreak, according to The New York Times. Haitians that entered the U.S. within a year of the disaster were permitted to file for TPS.

According to the New York Times, the largest group protected by TPS are Salvadorans with about 200,000 people covered. The DHS has scheduled an announcement for next month to determine the status of El Salvador in regards to TPS. El Salvador continues to have high unemployment rates and gang violence.

Honduras, similar to many Latin American countries, continues to struggle with gang violence. There are currently 57,000 Hondurans under the TPS program. While the Trump administration finalizes their decision on the status of Honduras, they’ve extended their status for another six months, starting in January.

As of now, the status of these four countries is uncertain. Many people are not happy with the decision to end TPS for these countries. The Trump administration has a lot to consider.

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