Trump to send 57000 Hondurans back home

07 May, 2018, 07:33 | Author: Essie Rivera
  • The Trump administration is ending special protections for 57,000 Honduran immigrants

The Trump administration said on Friday it will end temporary protections for immigrants in the United States from Honduras on January 5, 2020, leaving potentially 57,000 people vulnerable to deportation.

The Honduras decision was postponed six months from last fall, when then-acting Secretary Elaine Duke said she couldn't reach a decision on the country and extended the status for more time to deliberate.

Hondurans have benefited from the program called Temporary Protected Status, or TPS, since 1999. Regmi said after the Department of Homeland Security last week declined to renew TPS for about 9,000 Nepalis.

Officials enacted the temporary protected status designation for Hondurans in 1999 after Hurricane Mitch hit the Latin American country a year earlier. It did the same in November for about 46,000 Haitians.

DHS typically terminates TPS for a country with an effective date in the future so people can get their affairs in order.

Orlando Lopez, a Honduran TPS holder living in Miami, told reporters on a call this week said he was anxious about what would happen if TPS ends.

Hondurans covered by TPS have until January 5, 2020, to return home.

"The Secretary determined that the disruption of living conditions in Honduras from Hurricane Mitch that served as the basis for its TPS designation has decreased to a degree that it should no longer be regarded as substantial", the DHS statement read. In 2016, Honduras had one of the highest murder rates in the world with more than 5,000 murders, at a rate of 59 murders per 100,000 people.

At the time, the country was headed into a presidential election.

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Thousands of people have fled violence in El Salvador, Honduras and Guatemala to come to the U.S.in recent years, leading to border apprehensions of Central Americans exceeding those of Mexicans for the first time in 2014.

They joined thousands of other Central Americans who arrive every month at the US border with Mexico to request asylum, many of them families or women with children. Several groups are suing to stay in the U.S.

Groups that favor limited immigration praised the administration's decision, saying the effects of Hurricane Mitch are long-gone. His family overstayed their visas to continue his treatment, and later received TPS.

In an interview with National Public Radio, Honduran immigrant Orlando Lopez said: "I'm afraid to return".

"There's really no words", he told HuffPost after hearing the news that TPS would be terminated.

The Honduran government was pressuring the White House to keep TPS for Honduran immigrants.

Deportees board a bus outside the Care Center for Returning Migrants (CAMR) after arriving on an immigration flight from the US, at the global airport in San Pedro Sula June 27, 2014.

Overall the country is worse off than it was almost two decades ago post-hurricane, said Michael Allison, a political scientist specializing in Central America at the University of Scranton in Pennsylvania.

Critics have accused the administration of pre-deciding to end the status regardless of the risky conditions that persist in the home countries and in some cases over the objections of those countries' governments.

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