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

08 November, 2017, 09:37 | Author: Diane Mills
  • María Ulloa Funes an immigrant from Honduras who

Under advanced parole, TPS holders that entered the country unlawfully but married USA citizens can go overseas and return to the country and be inspected by immigration officials and gain the option to adjust their status.

Democratic legislators criticized the decision of the United States government to cancel the Temporary Protection Status (TPS) on 5 January for some 5,530 Nicaraguans living in this country. Trump's cruel decision also underscores the fight to pass the American Promise Act, introduced by Rep. Nydia M. Velázquez (D-NY).

Amy Shannon -senior advisor for Alianza Americas, a regional network of Latin American and Caribbean immigrant organizations involved in negotiating for the decriminalization of migration in the region- said the elimination of TPS would affect more people than the recent termination of the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) program.

On Tuesday a group that included immigration and legal advocates criticized the delay in extending TPS to approximately 60,000 Hondurans protected by the program, who will receive TPS until July 2018. Congress created the program in 1990 to prevent foreigners-primarily undocumented immigrants-who were already in the United States from being returned to countries suffering from natural disasters or ongoing armed conflict.

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Rather than ending TPS, the advocates from an array of agencies said, it was time for Congress to develop a legislative plan to allow Nicaraguans, Hondurans and others to remain in the US permanently in the name of family unity and because they play vital roles in building American society. "If Congress doesn't act, they will be complicit in the morally repulsive mass expulsion of American families who have lived in this country for almost two decades". Assuming the Republican-controlled Senate approves Nielsen's nomination, she will have until Thanksgiving Day to make a decision on TPS for Haiti and until early January to do the same for El Salvador. The decision came from Department of Homeland Security acting secretary Elaine Duke, who the Washington Post reports found the bleak situation wrought by Hurricane Mitch wasn't a factor in Nicaragua anymore.

Latino advocates and legislators from both parties criticized the Trump administration's announcement that it would terminate a program that allows about 3,000 Nicaraguans to stay and work in the USA legally as well as delay the decision on whether to extend the program to recipients from Honduras. The secretary of homeland security decides whether a country is unsafe for its nationals to return, revoking or extending the special protected status. The Post reports the decision was keenly observed by the roughly 200,000 Salvadorans (here following 2001 earthquakes) and 50,000 Haitians (2010 quake) whose own TPS designation expires in 2018; the latter group will learn their fate by November 23, reports Politico.

"I think they deserve to have some sense of belonging", he said. "But it would be a huge injustice to take them back to our countries". They were allowed to stay in the United States after a 2010 quake devastated the capital, Port-au-Prince, and killed 200,000.

Belinda Osorio, a Honduran-American who lives and works in Florida and has been in the US for decades through TPS, told reporters at a conference call on Tuesday that she would not put her 14-year-old son in danger by going back to Honduras, regardless of the administration's eventual decision. "As a mother, I am concerned for my family's well-being", she said.


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