TEGUCIGALPA, Honduras: Last week, Honduran President Juan Orlando Hernandez applauded the U.S. Department of Homeland Security's six-month extension of Temporary Protected Status for 57,000 Honduran immigrants. But he also called for a solution that would allow these Hondurans to legally stay in the United States for longer.
"Unlike other countries designated for Temporary Protected Status, Honduras submitted an official request to the U.S. government to extend this program for our compatriots," President Hernandez said. "We are pleased that our request has paid off and that the United States has decided to protect hard-working Hondurans who have made lives for themselves and their families in the United States. But we must work toward a longer-term solution."
President Hernandez officially requested a TPS extension for Honduras in June, when he met with U.S. Vice President Mike Pence, U.S. Secretary of State Rex Tillerson, and then-U.S. Secretary of Homeland Security John Kelly in Miami, Florida.
"We continue to promote comprehensive immigration reform," Honduran Foreign Minister Maria Dolores Aguero said.
In her official memo on the six-month extension for Honduras, Acting Secretary of Homeland Security Elaine Duke noted, "At this time, after receiving reporting from a broad spectrum of sources, I have concluded that additional time is necessary to obtain and assess supplemental information to make this determination in an appropriately deliberative manner."
The Temporary Protected Status, or TPS, program offers refuge to immigrants from countries facing economic or political turmoil. The U.S. government added Honduras to the program after Hurricane Mitch killed more than 5,000 Hondurans and caused nearly $4 billion in damage in 1998.
Under, the Department of Homeland Security's decision, TPS status for the 57,000 Hondurans covered by the program will expire July 5, 2018, rather than January 5.
"My administration has advocated fiercely on behalf of the tens of thousands of Hondurans who are living in, working in, and contributing to the United States," President Hernandez said. "We hope that the United States will recognize their contributions -- and further extend their protected status."
Find any Critical Errors? Please Report It!