Extended Protection for People from Honduras, Nepal Lauded

Immigrants' groups are pushing Congress to grant permanent residency to TPS holders. Photo Credit: Unsplash

Suzanne Potter
California News Service

SACRAMENTO, Calif. – Many in the immigrant rights community are rejoicing after federal authorities agreed this past week to let people with Temporary Protected status from Honduras and Nepal continue to live and work here legally until litigation is resolved.

The Trump administration already had granted a similar nine-month extension for people from El Salvador, Haiti, Nicaragua and Sudan.

Ahilan Arulanantham, senior counsel at the ACLU of Southern California, maintains that the government is targeting TPS holders for deportation on the basis of race.

“The Trump administration adopted a new, extremely narrow interpretation of the TPS statute,” he states. “The reason they did it is because the Trump administration as a whole has an agenda, articulated clearly by the president, to try and expel as many nonwhite, non-European immigrants as possible.”

The government argues that the initial crises in these people’s home countries have been resolved, so they should return.

But many of them have been here – legally – for decades and have businesses and children who are U.S. citizens.

There are about 300,000 TPS holders overall, with 85,000 from Honduras and 15,000 Nepal.

Arulanantham is urging Congress to step in and grant permanent status to people with TPS.

“All of the relief that is being provided by these lawsuits is temporary, and it is not what people from these countries deserve,” he states. “What they deserve is permanent residence because they’ve lived here for years, contributed so much to this country.”

The case now is in the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals where this summer a judge is expected to hear the TPS case involving people from El Salvador, Haiti, Nicaragua and Sudan.

All sides now have agreed that the ruling on that case also will apply to TPS holders from Honduras and Nepal.