Tags: Immigration | Haitians | Central Americans | immigration | deportation | Secretary of State Rex Tillerson

Haitians, Central Americans to Lose Protected Immigration Status

Haitians, Central Americans to Lose Protected Immigration Status

(Eric Gay/AP)

By    |   Friday, 03 November 2017 07:31 PM

The State Department has reportedly decided more than 300,000 Central Americans and Haitians living here under a temporary permission program don't need to be shielded from deportation anymore.

The decision came ahead of the Department of Homeland Security's announcement on whether to renew the Temporary Protected Status program, The Washington Post reported Friday.

According to the Post, Secretary of State Rex Tillerson sent a letter to acting DHS Secretary Elaine Duke on Tuesday letting her know conditions in Central America and Haiti no longer necessitated a reprieve.

Congress established TPS in 1990 to protect foreign nationals from being returned to their countries amid instability and precarious conditions caused by natural disasters or armed conflict.

DHS has until Monday to announce plans for another 57,000 Hondurans and 2,500 Nicaraguans whose TPS protections will expire in January, the Post reported. They were exempted after Hurricane Mitch in 1998, and were routinely extended each year.

"It is fair to say that this administration is interpreting the law, exactly as it is, which the previous one did not," one unnamed administration official told the Post.

The official acknowledged all those countries still suffer from poverty, corruption and violence that, in many cases, have prompted illegal immigration.

"The solution is going to require working with Congress and these countries," the official told the Post. "We are equally committed to finding that. There is no lack of empathy here."

Many of those living under the protection have homes, businesses and U.S.-born children, the Post noted.

"We understand this is a very difficult decision," the administration official said.

The largest group of TPS recipients — about 200,000 — are from El Salvador; DHS has until early January to announce its plans for them, the Post reported.

DHS has to decide by Thanksgiving Day what to do with about 50,000 Haitians shielded by TPS after the 2010 earthquake that killed 200,000, the Post reported. Most live in South Florida.

"Terminating TPS at this time would be inhumane and untenable," a group of Catholic charity leaders wrote to Duke in a Wednesday letter.

The group argued the decision would "needlessly add large numbers of Hondurans and Salvadorans to the undocumented population in the U.S., lead to family separation, and unnecessarily cause the Department of Homeland Security to expend resources on individuals who are already registered with our government and whose safe return is forestalled by dire humanitarian circumstances."

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The State Department has reportedly decided more than 300,000 Central Americans and Haitians living here under a temporary permission program don't need to be shielded from deportation anymore.The decision came ahead of the Department of Homeland Security's announcement on...
Haitians, Central Americans, immigration, deportation, Secretary of State Rex Tillerson
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2017-31-03
Friday, 03 November 2017 07:31 PM
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