Our fears have come true. On May 4, 2018, we reported that the Department of Homeland Security would be making an official announcement terminating the TPS designation for the country of Honduras. Shortly after our report, DHS published a formal announcement terminating the Temporary Protected Status (TPS) designation for Honduras, with a delayed date of termination for a period of 18 months. The official date of termination will be January 5, 2020.
This means that nationals of Honduras living in the United States under TPS will have a period of 18 months to arrange for their departure from the United States or seek alternative legal status to remain lawfully present in the United States.
According to a statement released by DHS, the decision was made after the Secretary determined that “the disruption of living conditions in Honduras from Hurricane Mitch that served as the basis for the TPS designation” in 1999 were no longer substantial enough to justify continuation of the designation.
The report also claims that conditions in 1999 have greatly improved, and the country has made “substantial progress in post-hurricane recovery and reconstruction from the 1998 Hurricane Mitch.”
Honduran citizens with current TPS registrations must re-register for TPS and apply for Employment Authorization Documents (using Form I-765) to continue to work in the United legally until the termination of the TPS designation becomes effective in January 5, 2020. Details about the re-registration period have yet to be announced, but will appear in the Federal Register shortly.
We at the Sapochnick Law Firm, are extremely saddened to hear this news and the recent attacks that have been mounted against the TPS program. It is extremely unjust that DHS would end a program that has been in effect since 1999 so abruptly, without providing any relief to individuals who depend on the TPS program as a safe harbor, many of whom are fleeing extreme levels of violence in their home countries. It is estimated that approximately 50,000 Hondurans are living in the U.S. under the TPS program, making it the second-largest group of foreigners to benefit from the program.
We urge the community not to keep their arms folded, but to take action. Within recent months, DHS has stripped 6 countries of their TPS designation including Honduras, Nepal, El Salvador, Haiti, Nicaragua, and Sudan.
For our readers under TPS, do not lose hope. Contact our office to discuss alternative immigration options to remain in the U.S. once the TPS designation officially ends January 5, 2020.