The Trump administration has decided to end a temporary program that allows 57,000 Hondurans to live and work in the United States, three people familiar with the plans told McClatchy. Hondurans who came to the United States after Hurricane Mitch devastated their country in 1998 will be given 12 to 18 months to return to their native county or seek another form of legal residency.
The Department of Homeland Security will announce the program’s end as early as Friday afternoon. Officials there are expected to say conditions in Honduras have improved enough for people to return, though some have lived in the United States for two decades. One of the poorest and most violent countries in the region, Honduras has been plagued by gang violence and drug trafficking, which has forced tens of thousands to flee to the United States annually.
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More than 300,000 immigrants from about a dozen countries have been allowed to stay in the United States since the Temporary Protected Status program was created in 1990 by Congress. The program was designed to give people whose countries are devastated by natural disasters or other crises a temporary sanctuary until the conditions improve enough to return.
The administration has already let protections for several countries expire, including El Salvador, Haiti, Nicaragua, Sudan, Liberia and Nepal. Haiti, El Salvador and Honduras comprise most of the recipients[South Florida leaders call on President Trump to protect immigrants]“The hurricane that struck Honduras in 1998 is not the reason why its citizens still enjoy TPS protection in 2018,” said RJ Hauman, government relations director at the Federation for American Immigration Reform, which seeks to reduce immigration. “They are still here because the people who willingly accepted our temporary offer, their advocates, and their governments have abused our generosity and managed to get the program extended far beyond any reasonable definition of temporary.