Friday, July 19, 2024

Trump Administration set to make a decision today on TPS for Hondurans


About 86,000 Honduran nationals, including nearly 5,000 in New Jersey, are nervously waiting to find out if the Trump administration will remove them from a program that granted them temporary permission to live and work in the United States.

Protection for Hondurans under the program, called Temporary Protected Status (TPS), is set to expire on July 5, and the government has until this weekend — 60 days before the expiration — to announce whether to extend it or not.

If the program is not extended, Honduran citizens with TPS must begin to prepare to leave the country. If they decide to stay and cannot adjust their status, they will join more than 11 million undocumented immigrants who are living in the United States and will be at risk of detention and deportation.

The United States offers TPS to citizens of countries ravaged by natural disasters, armed conflict or other catastrophes. TPS was extended to Hondurans after Hurricane Mitch devastated the country in 1998, killing about 7,000 people.

Currently, more than 430,000 people from 10 countries are living in the United States with TPS, but the administration has announced that citizens with TPS from five of those countries, including El Salvador, Haiti, Nicaragua and Nepal, must leave in 2019. TPS for Honduras was set to expire on Jan. 5, but in November, the acting secretary of homeland security, Elaine Duke, concluded that additional time was needed to make a decision, so the designation was extended by six months.

“The truth is we have been here so many years, and we have made a life here,” said Jose Acosta of Jersey City, who has TPS and three U.S.-born children ages 8, 11 and 16. “This is complicated for TPS holders from Honduras and other countries. We just don’t know what will happen. Will they take TPS from us? If they do, we won’t be able to work or provide for our families here or back home.