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Trump administration ends immigration program protecting Central Americans from deportation

08 November 2017

She said the lives of thousands of Nicaraguan families who "help make the United States vibrant" would be disrupted and that both the USA and Nicaragua would be harmed.

A supporter amongst a coalition of community leaders and immigrant advocates demonstrate outside USA immigration offices, calling on federal authorities to designate Ecuador for Temporary Protected Status (TPS) for its nationals in the aftermath of last April's 7.8 magnitude natural disaster, Wednesday June 1, 2016, in NY. Trump's cruel decision also underscores the fight to pass the American Promise Act, introduced by Rep. Nydia M. Velázquez (D-NY).

Nicaragua's government, led by leftist President Daniel Ortega, did not formally request a TPS extension, they noted, whereas leaders from Honduras and El Salvador have waged a vigorous lobbying campaign to renew it.

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At the same time, the USA administration extended the TPS for six months, until July 2018, for the same reason for some 86,160 Hondurans. We demand that DHS reverse their decision and keep TPS for immigrants from other countries under threat. "If Congress doesn't act, they will be complicit in the morally repulsive mass expulsion of American families who have lived in this country for almost two decades".

Both the Bush and Obama administrations argued that Central American nations which were granted TPS after Hurricane Mitch could not cope with the return of thousands of their nationals and extended the programme's duration.

They also lamented during a call with reporters November 7 that Elaine Duke, acting secretary of Homeland Security, put off a decision on TPS for 57,000 Hondurans for six months, saying more time was needed to determine if they could remain in the US because of adverse social and economic conditions in their homeland.

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"We are looking at the fact that temporary protected status means temporary, and it has not been temporary for many years", DHS spokesman David Lapan said earlier this month.

The advocates also pointed to decisions due in several weeks from homeland security on TPS for people from El Salvador and Haiti, calling on Duke to extend protections without delay.

But the Department of Homeland Security already warned in its statement that a termination of the programme was "possible". "They have children here, and mortgages here", she said.

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Belinda Osorio, a Honduran-American who lives and works in Florida and has been in the USA for decades through TPS, told reporters at a conference call on Tuesday that she would not put her 14-year-old son in danger by going back to Honduras, regardless of the administration's eventual decision. But they say those problems should be addressed in other ways, and returning migrants can help foster development in their home countries. It authorizes employment and protection from deportation for about 320,000 people from 10 countries. "As a mother, I am concerned for my family's well-being", she said.

Trump administration ends immigration program protecting Central Americans from deportation