The Temporary Protected Status (TPS) of hundreds of thousands of Central Americans and Haitians, amongst others, living in the U.S. may be nearing its end. The Department of Homeland Security (DHS) is considering whether or not to extend TPS to its beneficiaries who were granted legal relief and protection as a result of their home countries recovering from catastrophic disasters or civil wars.
As the expiration dates for the protection come close—specifically Nicaragua and Honduras face Jan. 5 expiration dates, the Trump administration is considering ending their protection. DHS decisions regarding extensions are to be expected by Nov. 6. Generally, Homeland Security grants TPS to eligible individuals who are already in the U.S. but the environmental conditions and/or political circumstances prevent them from returning to their countries safely. The status is normally granted from six to eighteen months but can be extended as many times as the DHS and the State Department find suitable. Honduras’ TPS status was granted in direct response to the damages caused by Hurricane Mitch in 1998— a deadly Category 5 hurricane that struck the country. El Salvador was granted status in 2001 in the aftermath of a deadly earthquake, as well as Haiti in 2010. As a result of multiple extensions, the temporary stays have stretched to nearly 10 years for Haitians and almost 20 for Salvadorans and Hondurans.