Honduras regrets loss of USA protection status for its nationals

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Hondurans are the second largest group, after Salvadoreans, who have had their TPS protection revoked by the U.S. About 200,000 people who had come to the country from El Salvador were told earlier this year that they had a matter of months to leave the country.

According to the government's argument, the secretary of national security, Kirstjen Nielsen, "has cautiously considered" the current conditions of Honduras, determining that the country has recovered enough from the disaster caused by Hurricane Mitch in 1999, concluding that citizens would no longer need to stay in the United States.

The president's supporters say the protections were never meant to be permanent.

He said people who've been in the USA for almost two decades have put down roots, often have American citizen children, and shouldn't be forced to return to their homes.

The migrants were previously allowed to stay in the USA under temporary protected status, after hurricane Mitch hit Central America back in 1998.

Hondurans have been protected since 1999, after Hurricane Mitch slammed into Central America.

For his part, the Honduran ambassador to the United States, Marlon Tabora, said that "the conditions did not exist in the country to repatriate tens of thousands of people," according to Kelo.com.

Marta Connor, a 50-year-old union organizer in Southern California who has lived in the USA for decades and has three American-born children, said before the announcement that she wasn't leaving, regardless of the administration's policies.

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"Many families, including children who are US citizens, could risk threats, kidnapping, gender-based violence, or even death if sent to Honduras".

In November, the Trump administration ended the temporary protected status designation for Haiti effective in 18 months due to noticeable progress since the 2010 quake in that country. Only a few thousand still have that status. These children are all USA citizens.

Previous Democratic and Republican administrations had more or less automatically issued 18-month renewals for TPS - the maximum statutory limit - especially for Latin American countries in the program. "They are still here because the people who willingly accepted our temporary offer, their advocates, and their governments have abused our generosity and managed to get the program extended far beyond any reasonable definition of temporary".

Under Trump, the Department of Homeland Security has terminated the program for Sudan, Nicaragua, Nepal, Haiti, and notably El Salvador, which accounted for more holders of the special status than any other nation. More than half of Honduran immigrants with TPS have lived in the United States for more than 20 years.

The protections have been extended for 6,900 Syrians who already have them, but the administration has said it won't take on new applicants.

Refugees from Syria, South Sudan, Somalia, and Yemen, who are in the US thanks to TPS, have not been told to leave the country. Until the Trump administration came in, TPS beneficiaries who might face perilous (or even deadly) circumstances if forced to return home have been allowed to stay in the US, even if the original emergency that led to TPS status has ended But now the government is briskly bringing TPS status for various countries one by one, placing these migrants on a schedule for either deportation or illegal status.

"People don't want to go back to being undocumented, but I don't think you are going to see a ton of people returning to their countries of origin", he said.

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