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Nicaraguan Immigrants Losing Protected Immigration Status


The Department of Homeland Security (DHS) has given 2,500 Nicaraguans with temporary residency 14 months to leave the country. The current presidential administration has given the okay not to renew the Temporary Protected Status (TPS) designation that has allowed these immigrants to stay in the country for almost 20 years.

However, the administration has also deferred a decision regarding another 57,000 Hondurans who have been living in the United States with the same designation. According to the DHS, the department needs more time to consider what to do with them.

This decision to forgo ending the protected immigration status of 57,000 people likely displeased immigration hard-liners who have been pressuring the administration to end the TPS program on the grounds the protected status was never intended to bestow long-term residency to those who might have entered the country through illegal means. Likewise, the program shielded these two groups of immigrants following Hurricane Mitch, which hit Central America in 1998.

Nicaraguan immigrations who were protected have until January 5, 2019, to leave the United States or change their residency status. The DHS acting secretary, Elaine Duke, deliberated right up to the deadline, and the 6-month extension for Honduran immigrants will probably be left to Duke’s successor. The current president has nominated Kirstjen Nielsen to be the next DHS secretary, and she will face Senate confirmation hearings today.

TPS was created by Congress in 1990 to avoid sending immigrants to countries too damaged or unstable to receive them because of natural disasters, health epidemics, or armed conflict. The current administration has also acknowledged the fact that TPS beneficiaries are from countries afflicted with crime, poverty, and corruption; however, those in power say the problems should be addressed in other ways and returning to their countries of origin can help “foster development.”

DHS has until November 27, 2017, to announce its plans for almost 50,000 Haitians with protected status. Earlier in May, TPS was renewed for Haitians for only 6 months, far short of the 18-month extensions repeatedly granted by the Obama administration. This renewal followed the 2010 earthquake which destroyed Port-au-Prince and killed 200,000 people.

If you think you might be affected by DHS and its decisions, don’t hesitate to call our skilled Dallas immigration attorneys at Mathur Law Offices, P.C. Our experienced attorneys have years of legal experience to offer your case, and we are dedicated to working toward the best case scenario for our clients. The people we help are our top priority, and our attorneys remain attentive to their needs and available to address their questions and concerns. Let us see how we can help you.

Contact us at (888) 867-5191 or fill out our online form to schedule a case consultation with us today.