The Trump Administration has announced it will end Temporary Protected Status, known as TPS, for more than 5,000 Nicaraguan immigrants in the U.S. But Homeland Security officials said they have yet to decide the fate of three much larger groups of TPS holders: Hondurans, Salvadorans and Haitians.
TPS is granted to immigrants from a handful of countries that have been beset by crises like war or natural disaster. It’s typically renewed every 18 months.
It was granted to Nicaraguans in the U.S. following Hurricane Mitch in 1998. Their protection was set to expire Jan. 5. Officials said Monday that Nicaraguans will only get one more year — until January 2019.
TPS for about 86,000 Hondurans was also set to expire Jan. 5, but officials said they haven’t made a decision on Honduras yet. Instead, they're getting a six-month extension, with a decision at a later date.
Gladys Nunez, from Honduras, has had TPS for many years. She breathed a sigh of relief Monday evening.
“It’s good news, even if it’s 6 months, we’ll keep waiting and asking God for this country to give us more time, so we can stay here," Nunez said in Spanish.
Critics say "temporary" should mean "temporary." Washington D.C. think tank the Center for Immigration Studies wants more restrictions on immigration.
“The only rationale for something like this is if people can’t be sent back physically," the Center's Mark Krikorian said.
Officials did not announce a decision for TPS holders from El Salvador or Haiti.