A union representing service workers in the Northwest spoke out against a decision by the Trump administration that will end a temporary protected status (TPS) for 2,500 Nicaraguans who have lived in the United States for almost 20 years.
Elaine Duke, the acting secretary of the Department of Homeland Security, announced Nov. 6 that 2,500 people who emigrated from Nicaragua in 1999 will have to seek alternative immigration status or return to their country of origin.
These 2,500 people have put down roots, taken out mortgages and had children who are U.S. citizens.
The end of the status could separate families and send longtime residents home to troubled countries, said Sergio Salinas, president of Service Employees International Union Local 6.
“Congress must act to let TPS recipients remain, and to end the fear and uncertainty that now clouds their lives,” he said.
Temporary protected status designations are created by the DHS secretary for countries with ongoing armed conflict, an environmental disaster, an epidemic or other “extraordinary and temporary conditions.” People covered by TPS can work, travel and feel safe from deportation.
Nicaraguans no longer covered by this status have until Jan. 5 to leave the country.
DHS may also destabilize roughly 57,000 Hondurans living in the United States under TPS protections. The department punted that decision, and plans to take it up again around July 2018.
There are eight countries other than Nicaragua and Honduras that currently fall under TPS. They include El Salvador, Haiti, Nepal, Somalia, Sudan, South Sudan, Syria and Yemen.
Ashley Archibald is a Staff Reporter covering local government, policy and equity. Have a story idea? She can be can reached at ashleya (at) realchangenews (dot) org. Twitter @AshleyA_RC
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