Trump Actions on Protected Status Prompt Outcry from Latino Lawmakers, Advocates

Aaron Brown
November 8, 2017

During the background call with reporters, senior administration officials emphasized that the USCIS agency - the organization overseeing TPS designation - would not "proactively share information with the U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) regarding the expiration of TPS". "It is time for Congress to act and to do so before the end of the year", stated Dr. Delgado.

The announcement comes before the administration is set to announce whether it will extend the program for Hondurans and Nicaraguans on Monday (UPDATE: The Department of Homeland Security made a Monday evening decision about TPS for Nicaragua but said it needed more time to explore a decision on Honduras), and Haitians on November 23.

Meanwhile Honduran immigrants, whose TPS was also due to expire in January 2018, have been left in limbo as a decision on their status was delayed. 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. "DHS' action destroys the emotional security and compromises the mental health of thousands of USA citizen children with a lifetime of consequences for their well-being", concluded Dr. Delgado.

"We have had to renew our work permits constantly but it is different under this administration", she said.

"These are people who have had to go to the Department of Homeland security every 18 months, and have shown their papers, their information, their records, have paid to be renewed". "I'm not taking my family to a risky zone".

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According to Acting Secretary of Homeland Security, Elaine Duke, that initiative, created to favor immigrants after the devastating hurricane Mitch in 1998, is no longer necessary. They are still here because the people who willingly accepted our temporary offer, their advocates, and their governments have abused our generosity and managed to get the program extended far beyond any reasonable definition of temporary. "Abuse of TPS by guests - most of whom should not have been here in the first place - and foreign governments that value remittances sent home by their citizens more than they value the citizens themselves, should never be rewarded".

Nicaragua made no such call to the US government, according to the DHS statement.

For Martínez, the elimination of TPS would mean having to forcefully return to El Salvador. "But it would be a huge injustice to take them back to our countries. They are the fabric of our communities, and our economies and our industries", said Maria Rodriguez of the Florida Immigrant Coalition.

"But after the shock of yesterday's announcement, it's hard for me to think about what will come next".

Other reports by Free-Prsite

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