It is the latest in a series of decisions by President Donald Trump to shut down temporary protected status (TPS) granted to immigrants after natural disasters or violent conflicts that would prevent them from safely returning to their home countries.
TPS was granted for Hondurans after Hurricane Mitch devastated the country, particularly its agricultural sector, in 1998.
Another unconscionable attack on immigrants: Trump is reportedly ending TPS for Hondurans and will try to kick out 57,000 men, women and children to a country suffering from violence and poverty.
"One thing I can tell you is I am not going to Honduras", she said, noting that numerous asylum-seeking migrants in a caravan that recently reached the U.S. -Mexico border are from Honduras.
The DHS has given the migrants 18 months to leave the country, or change their immigration status, since the department determined their home country is no longer suffering the effects of the hurricane.
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But the Trump administration has interpreted the TPS statute more strictly than previous administrations, focusing on the temporary nature of the program.
Mercy Sister Patricia McDermott, president of the Sisters of Mercy of the Americas, was similarly disappointed with the decision announced May 4 by Kirstjen Nielsen, the U.S. Secretary of Homeland Security. At the time, DHS Acting Secretary said that additional time was needed to assess conditions in Honduras due to a "lack of definitive information regarding conditions on the ground compared to pre-Hurricane Mitch". Mitch was the deadliest hurricane in the Western Hemisphere in more than 200 years.
Honduras is a significant source of illegal immigration to the United States, and numerous families who joined the migrant caravan through Mexico that captured the attention of President Trump last month said they fled their country in fear for their lives. "They are still here because the people who willingly accepted our temporary offer, their advocates, and their governments have abused our generosity and managed to get the program extended far beyond any reasonable definition of temporary".
"It makes the situation in Honduras and Central America worse and will assuredly come back to haunt us in time", Appleby said. "There can be no basis for an extension". El Salvador has the second highest. More than 10,000 people lost their lives, with 7,000 of those deaths happening in Honduras.
The big question is whether the USA government will put immigrants into deportation proceedings once the status ends, he said. The 18-month timeline to end the program would allow "individuals with TPS to arrange for their departure or to seek an alternative lawful immigration", the Department of Homeland Security said in a news release. After a disputed presidential election past year, at least 30 people died amid protests in the nation.
Mr. Trump, his opponents argue, is effectively adding tens if not hundreds of thousands of people to the ranks of those in the US without legal status.