Continuing with its strong effort to close the country's doors, the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) of the Trump Administration has announced the end of Temporary Protected Status (TPS) for Honduran citizens.
During President Donald Trump's administration 200,000 Salvadorans, 50,000 Haitians and 9,000 Nepalis have lost their protected status along with smaller groups of immigrants from Nicaragua and Sudan.
The 2020 deadline gives time for people with TPS "to arrange for their departure or to seek an alternative lawful immigration", the statement reads.
Supporters of the administration's immigration policies applauded the announcement to end TPS. They now have until January 5, 2020, to sort out their affairs before returning home - or try to normalize their migratory status in other ways, such as through marriage or sponsorship.
An internal document recently made public shows that in the case of Haiti, DHS staff had written that "many of the conditions prompting the original January 2010 TPS designation persist, and the country remains vulnerable to external shocks and internal fragility". "They're not sending their finest", Trump said Friday.
"This is another shortsighted decision by the Administration, and while I'm extremely disappointed, I've long said Congress has a responsibility to step up and put an end to the anxiety and uncertainty young immigrants brought to our country as children and those contributing to our country under the TPS program face because of these short-term Executive mandates", he said.
The country's ambassador to the US, Marlon Tabora, said the country could not handle repatriating tens of thousands of people, Reuters news agency reports. To qualify for TPS, you have to be from a specific country "experiencing armed conflict, the aftermath of environmental disaster, or other extraordinary and temporary conditions", as one description explains it.
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In the almost 20 years that they've been in this country, the Honduran refugees have had roughly 53,500 children - almost doubling their number and further complicating the logistics of their deportation. The Central American countries have had their temporary protected status extended by previous administrations continuously since the 1990s and early 2000s.
The International Rescue Committee (IRC) is troubled by this most recent decision, as conditions remain unsafe for Hondurans to return and it risks further destabilizing an already volatile region.
"I don't believe we will see that wave of individuals coming to Canada", he told the Canadian Broadcasting Corp.
If they're supposed to stay in the USA permanently, why call the program they enter under "temporary"?
TPS was created in 1990 by Congress.
Karen Valladares, the director of the National Forum for Migration, a non-governmental organization in Honduras, said people still are choosing to leave because of gang and drug-related violence and lack of economic opportunities.
"There have not been concrete improvements in the security situation", Valladares said. In some ways, "Honduras is worse off than when they left".