Border and Enforcement News

Posted on: November 29th, 2017
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DHS Ends Protected Immigration Status for Nicaraguans, Haitians; Hondurans Receive Extension

The Trump administration has announced that the Temporary Protected Status (TPS) designation for Nicaragua will not be renewed, providing a 14-month period of time for the 2,500 individuals who have provisional residency through the program to exit the country. The Administration announced that more time was needed to determine whether it will renew TPS for 57,000 Hondurans who are present in the United States through utilization of the program. TPS designation was granted for these two countries in 1999 after Hurricane Mitch struck Central America, and since then the service has been renewed regularly.

Citing a determination that the effects of Hurricane Mitch are no longer detrimental to Nicaragua, acting secretary of the Department of Homeland Security Elaine Duke announced that the program’s termination will result in a deadline of January 5, 2019, by which all Nicaraguans will be required to change their residency status or leave the country. She stated that, though the conditions warranted the designation, they were temporary and are no longer at the level which warrants renewal. The six-month extension through July 5, 2018 granted to Honduras likely indicates that a decision regarding the long-term future of the program will be decided by acting secretary Duke’s successor. She supported her decision to extend by stating that more time was needed in order to gain more extensive information to make a comprehensive assessment and subsequent decision.

Acting secretary Duke also announced the termination of the TPS designation for Haiti, a decision with an effective date of July 22, 2019, providing 18 months to facilitate orderly transition. The decision to terminate the designation came after determining that the conditions which warranted the designation following the 2010 earthquake no longer exist. The 18-month delay will allow those currently under the designation to seek alternative lawful immigration status, if eligible, or plan their departure from the country. The delay period will also allow for the government in Haiti to plan accordingly for the return of its citizens. To continue working legally in the United States, such individuals are required to reapply for Employment Authorization Documents.

For more information, view the press release for Nicaragua and Honduras, or for Haiti.

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