TPS Extended for El Salvador, Honduras
“Tonight, hundreds of thousands of families who have lived in limbo for so long can rest a little easier. The Biden administration acted to extend TPS now because of the strength of our community’s voice demanding greater protection,” stated Cristina Morales, a plaintiff and TPS recipient from El Salvador who is a part of the Ramos v. Nielsen lawsuit that helped protect TPS for six countries.
The Department of Homeland Security has announced the extension of the Temporary Protected Status for the following six countries: Honduras, El Salvador, Haiti, Nicaragua, Nepal and Sudan. The decision to end the protected status for migrants was set to end on the 31 of December of this year, but has since been extended to June 30, 2024, 18 months past its initial cancellation date.
Ni la Lluvia, Ni el Viento, Detiene este Movimiento
Following the failure of the Biden administration to properly come to a negotiation with various lawyers that represented various TPS holders, the status of nearly 300,000 TPS recipients was up in the air. After the Trump administration made the order to cancel TPS for the six countries, the case Ramos v. Nielsen fought against the ruling and provided temporary stay for TPS holders.
After nearly a year of negotiations with the Biden administration, the negotiations collapsed and led to the uncertainty of the fate of TPS holders of El Salvador, Honduras, Nepal and Nicaragua as of late October.
The news of the collapsed negotiations led to widespread disappointment from TPS holders and allied communities. Ahilan Arulanantham, co-director of the Center for Immigration Law and Policy at the UCLA School of Law had this to say:
“By not re-designating TPS to protect hundreds of thousands of Central Americans and Nepalis, President Biden is doing the opposite of what he promised to do for migrant families. In exchange, he is supporting the anti immigrant politics of Trump, stripping immigrants of protection and refusing their rights.”
Salvadorans were initially designated TPS by President George W. Bush in 2001 as a result of the series of earthquakes that hit the country at the beginning of the year, displacing approximately 1.3 million people due to the damage done to the country’s infrastructure. The extension of the program has been accredited to its instability brought on by the continued natural disasters that affect the area as well as the gang violence in the country.
Gracias a Dios, les comparto la noticia que el Departamento de Seguridad Nacional (DHS) @DHSgov notificó de la extensión automática del TPS para El Salvador y otros 5 países hasta el 30 Junio 2024.
— Milena Mayorga (@MilenaMayorga) November 10, 2022
The news of the extension of the Temporary Protected Status was announced by Milena Mayorga, the ambassador of El Salvador to the U.S., through a tweet,
“Thank God, I’m sharing the news that the Department of Homeland Security has notified us of the automatic extension of TPS for El Salvador and five other countries until June 30, 2024.”
Although celebrated by many Salvadorans, the fight for a permanent solution is still being debated. In an interview with Voz De America, the organization National TPS Alliance, emphasized the important role that the community itself played in ensuring that TPS continued to protect Salvadoran migrants.
“Small, but still a victory. This was not accomplished due to any lobbyist, intermediary or politician. This is a direct result of the migrant families under TPS that organized and fought.”
Honduras was initially designated TPS in 1999 by President Bill Clinton after Hurricane Mitch devastated the country, resulting in the death of an estimated 18,000 individuals and causing nearly $5 billion dollars in damages.
The hurricane led to the destabilization of the country’s economy, as individuals and businesses were seen affected by the damage that it had on the natural environment. The protected status for Honduran migrants has since been renewed multiple times as the country has continued to be considered in an inadequate state to reintegrate the U.S. migrants into the country.
1/2 Gobierno de la Presidenta @XiomaraCastroZ recibe con beneplácito el anuncio del Secretario @SecMayorkas, de conceder una extensión de los documentos relacionados con el TPS para hondureños por 18 meses, hasta el 30 de junio de 2024. Lo que da alivio a nuestros compatriotas.
— Enrique Reina (@EnriqueReinaHN) November 10, 2022
In response to the news of the extension, Secretary of External Relationships Enrique Reina released a tweet, echoing the news that was announced by the Ambassador of El Salvador to the U.S. Milena Mayorga.
“The Government of President @XiomaraCastroZ welcomes the announcement of Secretary @SecNielsen, to grant an extension of the documents related to TPS for Hondurans for 18 months, until June 30, 2024.
This gives a great relief to our compatriots whose permits expired on December 31 of this year. However, we reiterate our request to the Biden Administration for a new TPS designation for Honduras.”
The request to allow new applicants for the TPS program is still a hurdle that many Honduras continue to emphasize during talks about TPS.
In a quote from Honduran news site La Prensa, the president of the Honduran Foundation 15 de Septiembre stated,
“It is bittersweet news because it does give 57,000 Hondurans some peace but it is disappointing because there is no TPS for new solicitors. A call has been made and we will continue advocating because a new TPS is deserved, we hope that it is something that President Biden will consider.
We understand that it is ultimately the decision of the U.S. but they know that Honduras is not in condition to receive deported individuals, those who do not qualify under the status are left in a limbo and are affected because they won’t see their families until it is approved.”
The extension of the program is only the beginning in the long fight being pioneered by TPS holders and advocates that are calling for more secure and permanent additions to the program.
“Today, TPS holders still do not have permanent residence, along with all the civil rights and political equality they deserve. Most members of this community have lived in this country for decades. They deserve lawful permanent residence, not life lived in 18-month increments. TPS holders, the TPS Alliance, and their allies will not cease until that demand has been met,” said Emi Maclean, the senior staff attorney of the ACLU of Northern California.
“I flew in from Nebraska & was ready to escalate our demands! Today, I’m here to welcome this small victory & clarify that this is a direct result of TPS migrant families! No La lluvia, ni el viento, detiene este movimiento!!”-Jose Molina, TPS Holder #TPSJustice #ResidencyNOW pic.twitter.com/yvHDfbOCza
— Nat’l TPS Alliance (@TPS_Alliance) November 11, 2022
The efforts to maintain the program afloat has continued to be spearheaded by the TPS community itself, constantly doing outreach and ensuring that the administration knows that they’re here to stay.
As quoted by the National TPS Alliance on their Twitter, TPS holder Jose Molina emphasized the continued fighting spirit of TPS holders across the country:
“I flew in from Nebraska & was ready to escalate our demands! Today, I’m here to welcome this small victory & clarify that this is a direct result of TPS migrant families! ¡Ni la lluvia, ni el viento, detiene este movimiento!”
TPS Holders and Lawyers Call for Redesignation and Permanent Status. The struggle continues.
To learn more about the history of TPS, visit, Understanding the Histories Behind TPS.
Kimberly Martinez is an undergraduate student pursuing a double major in Political Science and Urban studies at the University of California, Irvine. She started her journey with Latina Republic as an Immigration Writer, highlighting the stories of the Latinx community in the United States and the various challenges they face, extending the outreach of her stories to cover immigrant communities of other regions around the world. Kimberly has also served as a tutor for Latina Republic’s Adelante Tutor Program, working with students of various grade levels that come from migrant families. Much of her work attempts to uplift the voices of those within the communities, which is something that Latina Republic has always emphasized throughout the various programs and stories they support. She hopes to continue uplifting the voices of migrant communities and finding more ways to address issues alongside those directly affected, whether it be through direct outreach or other channels of support.