End Of Nicaraguan TPS Program Announced, Honduran Decision Put Off Until July

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The Trump administration announced last night that the Temporary Protected Status (TPS) program for Nicaraguans will end in 14 months. It also decided to defer a decision on Honduran TPS until July 2018.

The announcements were the first two of five that are expected over the next two months.

According to the Department of Homeland Security (DHS), TPS for Nicaraguans will terminate in January 2019. Approximately 2,500 to 5,000 Nicaraguans are protected by the program, living primarily in Florida and Southern California. After a State Department assessment on Friday said that protection for Hondurans was no longer necessary, it was widely expected that Honduran TPS would suffer the same fate as the Nicaraguans. However, at least for now, the 86,000 Honduran TPS holders have been granted a short reprieve. Several thousand Honduran TPS holders live on Long Island.

Acting Homeland Security Secretary Elaine Duke said that she did not yet have enough information to make a decision on Honduran TPS and that she would delay making any decision for six months. Honduran TPS is being extended until July 5, 2018 for her to have time to decide. Her decision is expected to come in May.

In two weeks, a decision on TPS extension for Haiti will also be made. That program protects 50,000 people, about 2,000 of whom live in New York State. The largest TPS program, for 212,000 Salvadorans, will have an extension decision made in January.

Nicaraguans with TPS have until January 5, 2019 to leave the United States. Hondurans have an automatic six-month extension of their TPS work authorizations. According to the statement from DHS:

“Based on the lack of definitive information regarding conditions on the ground compared to pre-Hurricane Mitch, the Acting Secretary has not made a determination at this time, thereby automatically extending the current TPS designation for Honduras for six months — through July 5, 2018…It is possible that the TPS designation for Honduras will be terminated at the end of the six-month automatic extension with an appropriate delay.”

As it did when announcing the end of DACA, the Trump administration called for Congressional action on TPS, saying it would support some unspecified extended status.

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Patrick Young blogs daily for Long Island Wins. He is the Downstate Advocacy Director of the New York Immigration Coalition and Special Professor of Immigration Law at Hofstra School of Law. He served as the Director of Legal Services and Program at Central American Refugee Center (CARECEN) for three decades before retiring in 2019. Pat is also a student of immigration history and the author of The Immigrants' Civil War.

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