The administration of United States President Donald Trump refused to heed the advice of experts when it forced officials with the Department of Homeland Security to revoke the Temporary Protected Status that had been enjoyed by Honduran nationals.
Temporary Protected Status is enacted to provide relief for individuals who cannot return to their country of origin due to prevailing dangers there often as a result of natural disaster or war. It has been normal procedure over the years for this status to be periodically renewed upon advice from United States diplomats working in the countries in question.
The Trump administration has operated quite differently from past administrations regarding the matter and already Temporary Protected Status has been taken away from Salvadorians, Haitians, and now Hondurans. The groups are now provided with 18 months to gain the legal right to reside in the country or before to leave the United States.
Despite warnings by the State Department that returning high volumes of immigrants to already troubled nations at once can work to destabilize these regions, it the position of the Trump administration that no threat remains in these immigrants’ countries of origin and it is safe for them to return.
Rex Tillerson, former Secretary of State, along with others, applied the pressure to former Homeland Security Secretary Elaine Duke to end TPS for Hondurans. The decision was under the sole jurisdiction of Duke and despite her individual protests, she would eventually succumb to the pressure. Elaine Duke recently stepped down from the position.
Democratic Senators penned letters to the Department of Homeland Security, as well as the United States Immigration Services on May 7. The letters were requests to the agencies to investigate discrepancies between internal documents that encouraged the renewal of TPS for Haitians and the actions taken on the part of the Trump Administration. An additional request was made by Democratic Senator Robert Menendez of New Jersey to the United States Government Accountability Office to begin an independent investigation.
A recent report suggests that the move to withdraw TPS for certain groups along with the cancellation of the DACA program could affect the lives of as many as 1 million immigrants now in the country.