Newspaper article The Record (Bergen County, NJ)

Nicaraguans to Lose Protected Status

Newspaper article The Record (Bergen County, NJ)

Nicaraguans to Lose Protected Status

Article excerpt

The acting secretary of the U.S. Department of Homeland Security has not determined whether she will extend temporary protection from deportation for more than 86,000 Honduran nationals living in the country, but will terminate that designation for more than 5,000 citizens from Nicaragua, senior administration officials announced Monday.

Temporary Protected Status, or TPS, for Nicaraguan nationals, which was due to expire on Jan. 5, will be extended 12 months, to Jan. 5, 2019, senior administration officials said. The 12-month delay, the senior administration officials said, will allow for an orderly transition and provide time for TPS beneficiaries to seek an alternative, lawful immigration status in the United States or arrange for their departure. It will also provide time for Nicaragua to prepare for the return and integration of its citizens, they said.

TPS will be extended six months for citizens from Honduras to July 5, 2018, which is automatic under the law when the Department of Homeland Security secretary doesn't make a decision on whether an extension is warranted, senior administration officials explained. They said Elaine Duke, acting secretary of DHS, said despite receiving input from various sources, she concluded additional time was necessary to make an appropriate TPS designation.

However, the senior officials said, given the information currently available to Duke, which they said she continues to review, it is possible that the TPS designation for Honduras may be terminated with a delay at the end of the six-month extension.

TPS holders who were anxiously awaiting word of the program's fate Monday night said they were troubled by what they heard.

"Imagine how we are — we are really worried even though they gave us an additional six months. The situation is not favorable," said Ignacia Flores, 65, who was born in Honduras and now lives in Elizabeth. …

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