The deadline to renew the Temporary Protected Status (TPS) for the countries of Nicaragua and Honduras was on Monday. Acting Homeland Security Secretary Elaine Duke decided to end TPS for Nicaraguans but refused to make a judgement on Honduras, which means they automatically receive a six-month extension.
TPS provides temporary legal status to foreign visitors whose home countries have faced unexpected events from armed conflicts to natural disasters. TPS is only supposed to last six-months to 18-months but in practice some countries have received TPS designation for decades.
In the public statement, Duke also called for an amnesty for TPS recipients: "Recognizing the difficulty facing citizens of Nicaragua – and potentially citizens of other countries – who have received TPS designation for close to two decades, Acting Secretary Duke calls on Congress to enact a permanent solution for this inherently temporary program."
NumbersUSA President Roy Beck issued this statement to the news media:
NumbersUSA applauds Secretary Duke for announcing the termination of Temporary Protected Status (TPS) for Nicaragua 18 years after this supposedly temporary protection was first granted. This administration appears to be the first willing to apply TPS as it was actually enacted by Congress. A program that purports to be temporary, but instead allows illegal aliens to live in the United States and compete with American workers for decades after a national disaster, cannot and should not be sustained.
NumbersUSA is disappointed that Secretary Duke failed to announce the termination of TPS for Honduras, which also was granted 18 years ago as a result of the same natural disaster—Hurricane Mitch—that prompted Nicaragua’s designation. It is long past time for DHS to put the “T” back into Temporary Protected Status.
TPS should allow people to stay here temporarily only while their countries are in severe disorder after a disaster. But once countries have sufficient order to receive teams of American volunteers to help in their re-building, it is time for TPS recipients also to travel to their home country to do the same. Until this happens on a regular basis, it is difficult to justify giving TPS after any future disasters.
-- NumbersUSA President & Founder, Roy Beck
Both Nicaragua and Honduras first received TPS in 1999 after the region was hit with a major hurricane. Duke believes that Nicaragua has recovered and the Nicaraguan government did not make a formal request for an extension according to DHS. The estimated 5,300 Nicaraguan nationals will have a year to make arrangements to head back to their home country by January 2019.
“The acting secretary and the administration are committed to working with Congress to address the impact of Nicaragua’s TPS termination,” a senior administration official said. “Only Congress can legislate a permanent solution and provide those in an otherwise perpetually temporary status with a certain future.”
In the case of Honduras, Duke claims she needs more time to make “an appropriately deliberative” decision. This will give DHS until July 5, 2018 to research and decide if Hondurans still meet the requirements for TPS status.
Nicaragua is the second country under the Trump administration to have their TPS status terminated, the other country was Sudan.
There are several other TPS status countries that will be up for renewal in the next few months. Haiti was granted a six-moth extension in May, so their renewal will be up at the end of this month. El Salvador’s TPS renewal will be up in January 2018.
Under the TPS program the foreign visitor is granted a work permit to live and work in the U.S. and compete with American workers for jobs until their status expires.
Read more on this story at Politico.
Updated: Tue, Nov 21st 2017 @ 10:00am EST