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U.S. Government to Extend TPS to Honduras, El Salvador, and Nicaragua

US, Washington capitol

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Washington, December 8 (EFE)

The U.S. government announced the extension of temporary protected status, or TPS, for citizens of El Salvador, Honduras, Nicaragua, Haiti, Nepal and Sudan, which was to end next month, until October 2021.

The TPS program grants work permits and legal residence on a temporary basis to citizens who, in the opinion of the U.S. Government, left their countries due to natural disasters or armed conflicts, in fact a large number of foreigners with such protection have lived in the United States for decades.

Currently there are about 400,000 people, from about ten countries designated by Washington for the program. The largest groups in the TPS program are Salvadorans, with about 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 in the U.S. and to be able to work without fear of deportation.

The government of President Donald Trump had ordered the termination of TPS for citizens of Haiti, Nicaragua, El Salvador, Honduras and Sudan, but a district court in Northern California ordered the suspension of that order.

In September the Ninth District Court of Appeals overturned the court’s ruling in California, but did not issue an order making its own ruling effective, which in fact left the stay ordered by the previous court in place.

Honduran President Juan Orlando Hernandez traveled last Friday to Washington, where he called for the extension of the TPS in his meeting with U.S. senators and congressmen, while Foreign Minister Lisandro Rosales met with Chad Wolf, acting director of the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) to discuss the same issue.

Rosales indicated that his government had requested a new TPS program. and added that “the social and economic situation has been hit hard not only by the pandemic (COVID-19) but also by (hurricanes) Eta and Iota.

This Monday, also in compliance with a court order, the Trump government reactivated the reception of applications for the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals Program (DACA), which protects immigrants who entered the country illegally as minors.

On Friday, U.S. District Judge Nicholas Garaufis of the Eastern District of New York overturned the decisions made over the summer by acting DHS Secretary Chad Wolf and ordered the government to reopen receipt of new applications for DACA by Monday, an order the government complied with that same day.

“The DHS will comply with Judge Garaufis’ order as long as it remains in effect, but the DHS may seek relief from the order,” DHS said on its website.

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