More than 50,000 Hondurans lose temporary protection status
200,000 Salvadorans, 2,500 Nicaraguans, 45,000 Haitians, 9,000 Nepalese and now 50,000 Hondurans, are the latest victims of the Trump Administration's campaign against legal immigration.
Continuing with its strong effort to close the country’s doors, the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) of the Trump Administration has announced the end of Temporary Protected Status (TPS) for Honduran citizens.
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.
But these thousands of Hondurans have already made the United States their home, they have American citizen children, businesses, and mortgages, and they form the second largest group of people under the TPS, after the Salvadorans.
The Trump Administration has decided to suspend Temporary Protected Status (TPS) for the thousands of Honduran immigrants who have resided in the country since 1999.
Likewise, and according to the Washington Post (link is external), the government of Donald Trump would not be considering the current conditions of the country that "remains one of the most violent countries in the world, and has been involved in political instability since presidential elections last year whose legitimacy was rejected by the Organization of American States and other international observers."
"TPS will still be on the books, but will have been virtually emptied the beneficiaries at a time of the greatest number of forcibly displaced in recent history and an unprecedented number of complex crises giving rise to displacement," said Donald Kerwin, executive director of the Center for Migration Studies in New York, to the New York Times. (link is external)
Proof of this is the large number of Honduran citizens who joined the so-called Caravan of Refugees that crossed the entire Mexican territory to reach the border with the United States last Sunday and seek asylum.
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 (link is external). "These families have lived in the United States for 20 years and re-integrating them to the country will not be easy, if they decide to return," he added.
The DHS decision contemplates a period of 12 to 18 months for the citizens involved to settle their affairs in the United States and return voluntarily to Honduras because after the lapse they will be at risk of deportation.
Even so, and according to the Times, "many facing the loss of their protected status said they would resort to living in the shadows, like the estimated 11 million undocumented immigrants in the United States, rather than return to their troubled country."
In the same way, many of the families that remain in Honduras manage to survive thanks to the remittances sent from the United States by their relatives, explains The Guardian (link is external). "Last year, just over $4.4bn was sent to Honduras - a 12.7% rise on 2016 - contributing 18% of GDP, according to the central bank."
This type of decisions by the DHS, in addition to having serious humanitarian implications, will only aggravate the circumstance in the region, whose geographical proximity to the United States will make it a bigger problem in the long term.