Incoming DHS Secretary Faces High-Pressure Decision On 300000 Aliens With Temporary Status

Incoming DHS Secretary Faces High-Pressure Decision On 300000 Aliens With Temporary Status

The Trump administration has given 2,500 Nicaraguans with provisional residency 14 months to leave the United States, announcing Monday that it will not renew the Temporary Protected Status (TPS) designation that has allowed them to remain in the country for almost two decades.

At the same time, the USA administration extended the TPS for six months, until July 2018, for the same reason for some 86,160 Hondurans.

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.

But critics say the programme, which was created to offer temporary protection in the immediate aftermath of a disaster, has become a permanent fixture and allowed some immigrants to stay for nearly two decades by renewing their visas time and time again.

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Citizens from El Salvador also received TPS status after two earthquakes in 2001 destroyed infrastructure in entire regions of the country.

"We are looking at the fact that temporary protected status means temporary, and it has not been temporary for many years", DHS spokesman David Lapan said earlier this month.

More than 5,000 Nicaraguans and about 85,000 Hondurans are beneficiaries of that program. As its name suggests, TPS is ostensibly a short-term humanitarian benefit that lets foreign nationals stay while their home countries recover from catastrophes such as civil wars, natural disasters or epidemics. But DHS officials declined to make a determination on a much larger group of 57,000 similarly situated Hondurans, instead granting them a six-month extension while the agency gathers more information.

"Although they were born here, we want to keep our children with us", she said. Barahona said she would probably remain in the United States illegally and "stay as long as possible".

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Some advocates on the call expressed concern that ending TPS would pose a threat to national security because the countries in question were ill-prepared to accept tens of thousands of returnees.

Carmen Paz, 50, has lived in the United States since 1998, and she said the TPS program allowed her to trade a life in the shadows for one with full-time, formal employment and a driver's license. "My hope is they change the legislation to make this a permanent thing for all the TPS recipients". Every 6 to 18 months, immigration officials determine whether TPS is extended for each country.

"They have roots in this country".

Temporary Protected Status allows people from 10 countries to live and work in the United States.

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Kelly, now White House chief of staff, said the goal of the six-month extension was to "allow Haitian TPS recipients living in the United States time to attain travel documents and make other necessary arrangements for their ultimate departure from the United States".

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