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08 November 2017, 12:34 | Marta Robbins
A plea against deportation
The Department of Homeland Security announced Monday it would revoke the Temporary Protected Status of some 5,200 Nicaraguans living in the US after Secretary of State Rex Tillerson recommended booting Nicaragua from the program last week. A DHS official said that nothing should be read into today's decision about the future of other temporary protective status programs, but the administration has already let ones for Guinea, Liberia and Sierra Leone all expire.
Audio will be available later today.
This legislation would protect Nicaraguans and TPS holders from certain countries, including El Salvador, Haiti and Honduras and allow them to pursue a pathway to citizenship. A decision on Haiti and El Salvador is due later this month. Roughly 250,000 USA citizens are the offspring of TPS beneficiaries, so the announcement would likely force many families to make the hard decision of having to take their children with them.
Nicaragua and Honduras were originally designated January 5, 1999, because of destruction wrought by Hurricane Mitch.
"I'm not leaving. No matter what, I'm not leaving" said Osario, who has been in the USA for 26 years, the last 19 as a TPS holder.
There is talk at the Department of Homeland Security and Democratic and Republican offices about potentially using the Diversity Visa Lottery Program, which Trump wants to end, to help Haitians and other TPS members to get permanent residency.
A supporter amongst a coalition of community leaders and immigrant advocates demonstrate outside US 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.
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After the termination of the TPS designation, individuals will revert back to whatever legal status they had before they received TPS, senior administration officials said on a background call Monday night.
McGrorty, executive director of Catholic Legal Services in the Archdiocese of Miami, said US law is meant to be implemented "with a certain degree of kindness and compassion", and that sending people to countries that are ill-prepared to welcome them would do far more harm than good.
Tillerson's recommendations, which were not made public according to the Washington Post, could adversely impact not just TPS recipients, but their family members.
On Monday, DHS determined that Nicaraguan TPS holders can now return home and said that the Nicaraguan government will adequately handle their return.
The Trump administration eliminated temporary legal residency and deportation relief for thousands of immigrants from Nicaragua. While infrastructure may have been rebuilt after the destruction, the status has been reauthorized every 18 months ever since because of the violent conditions in both countries.
"I have never been so uneasy as I am now", Flores told Al Jazeera.
Ben Cardin of Maryland and the top Democrat on the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, said Monday, before the decision on Nicaragua and Honduras was announced.
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