STATEMENT: Terminating TPS for 2,500 Nicaraguans and Leaving 57,000 Hondurans in Limbo Is Senseless and Cruel, Say CAP’s Immigration and National Security Experts

Washington, D.C. — Last night, the Trump administration announced that it will terminate the Temporary Protected Status (TPS) designations for approximately 2,500 Nicaraguans and must conduct further review before deciding the fate of approximately 57,000 Hondurans. Tom Jawetz, vice president for Immigration Policy at the Center for American Progress, issued the following statement in response:

The decision to end TPS for Nicaraguans—individuals who have lived and worked lawfully in the United States for nearly 19 years and have consistently played by the rules—will leave many reeling. For 57,000 Hondurans and their more than 53,000 U.S. citizen children, the Department of Homeland Security’s inability to come to a decision is a mixed bag that leaves more questions unanswered than answered. To retain their protection for just 6 more months, these families will have to pay a substantial fee and undergo background checks—the fourteenth time they will have been asked to do this since they first applied for TPS in 1999—with no guarantee of protection after that short reprieve. The inability to make a decision on this case will shine a spotlight on the confirmation hearing of Kirstjen Nielsen, President Trump’s pick for secretary of homeland security, who will be testifying before the Senate Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs Committee on Wednesday. It also shines a spotlight on the department’s decision, due on Thanksgiving Day, pertaining to the future of 50,000 Haitian TPS holders.

Daniel Restrepo, CAP’s senior fellow for National Security and International Policy, added:

As the administration continues to assess the on-the-ground situation in Honduras, Haiti, and El Salvador, those in Washington should listen to the U.S. government professionals closest to the situation—the brave men and women serving in our embassies in each country. As it makes its decisions, the Trump administration should also keep foremost in mind its solemn duty to protect U.S. national security—a task that demands cooperating with the countries affected by the pending decision, not destabilizing them.

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CAP experts are available to speak on this topic. To coordinate, please contact Rafael J. Medina at rjmedina@americanprogress.org or 202.478.5313.