TPS provides temporary legal status in the United States to citizens of other countries where natural disasters or civil wars have made it too risky for them to return.
In its wake, the U.S. granted Nicaraguans and Hondurans a Temporary Protected Status (TPS), meaning they were sheltered from deportation and allowed to get things like jobs and insurance.
Duke determined that "those substantial but temporary conditions caused in Nicaragua by Hurricane Mitch no longer exist", meaning the TPS must end. Nicaraguans' and Hondurans' work authorization cards were set to expire on January 5, 2018.
The administration's announcement comes now in November because TPS designations by law must be announced 60 days before the program's expiration date.
Officials said Monday that Nicaraguans will only get one more year, until January 2019. "Let's see if we can get Congress to legalize these people who have been in the country for decades, are homeowners and business owners and whose kids were born here".
A bipartisan coalition of legislators led by Carlos Curbelo, R-Fla., proposed a bill last week that would grant TPS recipients from Honduras, Haiti, El Salvador and Nicaragua a chance to apply for permanent residency. There are bipartisan legislative options now before Congress to protect TPS families. More disturbingly, Duke torpedoed the entire concept of offering temporary protection to people whose homelands have been affected by some unforeseen event.
In March, DHS extended TPS for Haiti by six months, although many interpreted this move as a sign that they opposed the program and would be terminating it this fall. The Department of Homeland Security claimed that conditions in Nicaragua have improved enough to cancel the program.
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Immigration advocates held a press conference in Miami on Monday to make a last-minute plea to the Trump administration to not terminate the status for Haitians and Central Americans. Every 6 to 18 months, immigration officials determine whether TPS is extended for each country. They have consistently complied with the Department of Homeland Security. As a mother of a 17-year-old son and 11-year-old daughter, she said she would be forced to leave and take her two children with her. "No honest, informed observer could find otherwise".
These groups are also in the country under the TPS program.
More than 5,000 Nicaraguans and about 85,000 Hondurans are beneficiaries of that program.
The United States granted TPS to Haitian nationals living in the US following the cataclysmic quake in 2010 that left more than 300,000 dead, 1.5 million homeless and an equal number injured.
Congressional members, including Republican lawmakers, also called on the Trump administration to continue TPS.
TPS is a provision in the Immigration Act of 1990 that gives worker visas to immigrants from 10 countries experiencing ongoing armed conflict and environmental disaster. Otherwise, they will become undocumented. "People have been here for 25 years", Shannon said, "and for 25 years they have been working with a legal temporary visa. That hurts us all". "It is very important that these families not go back into the shadows and be fed into the deportation machinery".