Trump Administration Ends Immigration Benefits For 5,000 Nicaraguans But Extends Benefits For 86,000 Hondurans

At first glance it might seem like Donald Trump is making good on his promises to stop migration from countries south of the border. The Department of Homeland Security canceled on Monday immigration benefits for more than 5,000 Nicaraguan nationals living in the U.S., much to the rejoice of his #MAGA crowd, however, the DHS also extended benefits for 86,000 Hondurans, according to reports made by The Hill. The Nicaraguan nationals who are inside the country under a program called Temporary Protected Status will be allowed to live and work in the U.S. until January 5, 2019. Up until then, their affairs to leave the country or remain by obtaining legal status under a different form of visa should already be arranged. After that, Nicaraguan TPS beneficiaries who remain in the country without another visa will revert to their previous immigration status, meaning that the vast majority will become undocumented.

TPS was the government’s way to provide formal temporary visas to citizens of countries affected by natural or man-made disasters, and ever since Hurrican Mitch devastated Nicaragua back in 1998, the U.S. government has been lenient to its citizens, however, senior administration official say that the Nicaraguan government didn’t appeal the U.S. for an extension and that DHS Acting Secretary Elaine Duke has determined that the conditions in the country have improved enough for the Central American country to re-absorb its citizens. Honduras, on the other hand, did appeal for an extension and since it isn’t determined whether the country’s conditions have improved, Duke concluded that “time is required to make the appropriate designation.”

Secretary of State Rex Tillerson believes however that Honduras just like Nicaragua, shouldn’t be benefited by TPS any longer, according to reports made last Friday by The Washington Post where they claim that Tillerson wrote Duke a letter advising him that the ground conditions in both countries have been greatly improved, and by law, the secretary of state must be considered before TPS status is rescinded.

Jim McGovern a Democrat member of the United States House of Representatives, representing Massachusetts’s 2nd congressional district, didn’t find to be all that fair to the Central Americans, “Secretary Tillerson and all those at the State Department who participated in this farce of an assessment should be ashamed,” a sentiment that was actually shared by six other House Republicans who believe that by sending the Nicaraguans back, they could destabilize the region, since the country is not prepared to take them in.

Article inspired by The Hill // Trump administration cancels immigration benefits for 5K people