Immigrants, activists and elected officials denounce the plan to end TPS.
PHOTO CREDITS: Bryan R. Smith/AFP/Getty Images via NPR
Last week, the U.S. Homeland Security Department decided to end the Temporary Protected Status (TPS) program for immigrants. TPS was created in 1990 to help people from countries affected by natural disasters or war. If an earthquake struck and destroyed an area, those people could come to the U.S. and apply for TPS to temporarily work and live.
With the end of the program, an estimated 428,000 people from several countries will have to leave the U.S. or obtain legal residency. Deadlines have been established for each country under the program with Sudan being the first this November. Other countries include Haiti, El Salvador, Nicaragua, and Nepal.
The decision has made headlines recently due to the effect it has on immigrants from Honduras -- one of the largest groups under TPS with an estimated 57,000 Hondurans who have lived in the U.S. for nearly two decades. TPS began for Honduras in 1999 after Hurricane Mitch devastated the country. Immigrants protected by TPS have been living here legally, building families, and working to contribute to the U.S. economy. They now have 18 months to leave the country or somehow obtain permanent legal status.