DHS Ends Protected Immigration Status For 5K Nicaraguans

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At tomorrow's confirmation hearing, Senators will have an opportunity to seek clarity from Nielsen about the direction the department will take on TPS and other immigration matters.

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. Nicaraguan immigrants, who have lived in the United States for almost two decades, will have 12 months to leave their homes. Otherwise, they will become undocumented. She said that there is a lot uncertainty, especially for those with little options to adjust their status and get permanent residency.

By placing the deadline more than a year away, those eligible will have time to seek alternative legal status in the U.S., or to arrange their departure, the Homeland Security Department said in a statement.

Trump officials are expected to issue decisions on the future of TPS for 50,000 Haitians in November and 200,000 Salvadorans in January.

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.

The senior officials to Trump administration says Temporary Protected Status (TPS) for about 86,000 Honduran immigrants would be extended by six months until July 2018, but he added it could be terminated at the end of the extension.

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TPS for Nicaraguans will end on January 5, 2019, and Hondurans have received a grace period until July 5 of next year. Haitians got TPS after the January 2010 quake that killed hundreds of thousands of people.

In May, TPS for Guinea, Liberia, and Sierra Leone expired. The Miami Herald frames the renewals as being a longstanding "source of controversy" as the repeated 18-month renewals have allowed many to "temporarily" be here for as long as 20 years. For more information, visit http://www.healthyamericas.org or call the Alliance's Su Familia National Hispanic Family Health Helpline at 1-866-783-2645. "They are the fabric of our communities, and our economies and our industries", said Maria Rodriguez of the Florida Immigrant Coalition.

"I have never been so uneasy as I am now", Flores told Al Jazeera.

But critics say the programme, which was created to offer temporary protection in the immediate aftermath of a disaster, has become a permanent fixture and allowed some immigrants to stay for nearly two decades by renewing their visas time and time again.

Former U.S. Ambassador to Honduras James (Jim) D. Nealon also urged the Trump administration to extend TPS, saying, "it makes no sense to send [citizens of Honduras, Nicaragua, and El Salvador] back to their country of origin".

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