The United States government announced this week the extension of the temporary protected status (TPS) for citizens of Nicaragua, Honduras, Haiti, Nepal and Sudan, The program was to end next month, and is now extended to October 2021.
The TPS program grants temporary work and legal residence permits to persons who, at the discretion of the US Government, left their countries due to natural disasters or armed conflicts. A large number of foreigners with that protection have lived in the United States for decades.
Currently, there are about 400,000 persons, natives from a dozen countries designated by Washington for the program. The largest groups in TPS groups are Salvadorans with some 250,000 people, Hondurans with 75,000 and Haitians with 50,000 beneficiaries.
The extension of the protection for another nine months allows the beneficiaries to remain legally and to work without fear of immediate deportation.
Donald Trump had ordered the termination of TPS for the citizens of Haiti, Nicaragua, El Salvador, Honduras and Sudan. However, a district court in northern California ordered the suspension of that provision.
In September, a Federal Court of Appeals invalidated the ruling of the lower court in California. But that higher body did not issue a new order making its own decision effective. This left in place the suspension dictated by the lower court.
The president of Honduras, Juan Orlando Hernández, traveled to Washington on December 4, where he asked for the expansion of the TPS in his meeting with United States Senators and Congressmen. Meanwhile, Honduran Foreign Minister Lisandro Rosales met with Chad Wolf, acting director of the Department of Homeland Security to discuss the same issue.
Rosales said his government requested a new TPS program. He noted “the social and economic situation has been hit hard not only by the pandemic, but also by hurricanes Eta and Iota.”
El Salvador to seek a permanent solution for its migrants
The new extension of the United States was well received by the president of El Salvador, Nayib Bukele. He was “happy” for this benefit, which is extended to almost 200,000 Salvadorans.
“We are happy with the benefit.” He added, “Every decision, whether it comes from the White House, a court or Congress that favors our diaspora is celebrated by us,” said Bukele at a press conference.
The president of the Salvadoran Migrant Institute (INSAMI), Salvador Sanabria, noted in statements to the press that the action “is nothing more than the extension of the validity period of the work permit.” Furthermore, he said “the legal battle continues.”
Bukele said he will seek “a permanent solution” for his country’s migrants. He recalled that US president-elect, Joe Biden, “promised a path to citizenship” for the beneficiaries of this program.
He added that his government will lobby “President elect Biden to keep his promise.”
Bukele was also open to “discuss” with the Biden Administration the immigration agreements he signed with Trump. Likewise, to reach others that will “bring benefits to Salvadorans.”
DACA requests reactivated
The Trump administration, in compliance with a court order, reactivated on Monday receiving applications for the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA), which protects immigrants who entered the country illegally when they were minors.
Last Friday, federal Judge Nicholas Garaufis, overruled decisions made over the summer by DHS Acting Secretary, Chad Wolf. He ordered reopening the reception of new DACA protection requests no later than this Monday. The government complied with the order that same day.
“DHS will comply with Judge Garaufis’ order as long as it remains in force. However, DHS can request amparo from the order,” it states on its website.