Department of Homeland Security Must Answer to Nationwide Advocacy
TODAY marks the day by which the Department of Homeland Security must make a decision for the future of tens of thousands of Hondurans and Nicaraguans protected under Temporary Protected Status (TPS) and living in the United States.
This past weekend also saw numerous demonstrations and rallies organized to advocate for the protection of TPS, in anticipation of this deadline:
Politicians and activists are rallying at the Massachusetts State House to support immigrants awaiting the fate of the Temporary Protected Status program that allows them to remain in the country.
Somerville Mayor Joseph Curtatone, several state lawmakers and Massachusetts residents protected under TPS are expected to speak at the Wednesday gathering.
The deadline for President Donald Trump’s administration to extend the status to citizens of Nicaragua and Honduras is Nov. 6. For Haitians, it’s Nov. 23.
The State Department evaluation, however, is likely to inform the Trump administration’s decisions. Central Americans were already on edge about losing protected status; some have been here for nearly two decades.
“Without a final decision from the Department of Homeland Security, it’s difficult to know what to make of” the State Department assessment, said Royce Murray, policy director for the American Immigration Council, an immigrant advocacy group.
Activist Francisco Portillo was in his Little Havana office Saturday afternoon trying to calm anxious callers.
“We have gotten about 20 to 25 calls today. All we can tell people is that we have to wait until the government makes a formal announcement on Monday,” Portillo said. “But with this uncertainty the community is very worried. There are people with TPS who have lived here for two decades, have businesses. Many more are homeowners. They were expecting a permanent solution, an immigration reform, not this.”