For the 2,500 Nicaraguan immigrants now protected by TPS, this move will be dire as these people have built lives in the United States and their native country has a great deal of instability. "That is for Congress to ensure that TPS is not "inherently" a temporary program, but is actually temporary, as the T in its name indicates", responded Dan Stein, president of the Federation for American Immigration (FAIR). Immigration advocates in Miami hold a press conference on Monday in reaction to the possible termination of Temporary Protected Status for more than 300,000 Haitians and Central Americans. This legislation would protect Nicaraguans and TPS holders from certain countries, including El Salvador, Haiti and Honduras and allow them to pursue a pathway to citizenship.
Under the programme, they are allowed to work and many have raised families in the United States.
There is talk at the Department of Homeland Security and Democratic and Republican offices about potentially using the Diversity Visa Lottery Program, which Trump wants to end, to help Haitians and other TPS members to get permanent residency. Haitians status is set to expire in January 2018, affecting about 50,000 people, a lot of them in Florida, while Sanvadorans' status expires in March 2018, affecting almost 200,000 people.
"Every 16 hours there is a woman killed in Honduras", said Oscar Chacón from the Alianza Américas, stating the country remains one of the most unsafe places in the world. As a result, TPS for that country will be extended for six months from its current expiry date of January 5 next year, to July 5, 2018.
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.
According to one study, Haitians, Salvadorans and Hondurans comprise the three largest TPS holders and together have a total of 273,000 children who were born in the United States and have American citizenship. It's typically renewed every 18 months.
Last week, Secretary of State Rex Tillerson said that the conditions in Central America and Haiti no longer justify the need for protections under TPS in a letter to DHS.
DHS has called on Congress to enact a permanent solution to resolve the seemingly imminent elimination of TPS in the memo and give options to the thousands of immigrations that are losing or may eventually lose these protections. 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.