Honduran President Juan Orlando Hernandez says he’s working to help the approximately 57,000 Hondurans in the United States with Temporary Protection Status (TPS) to "regulate" their U.S. visa status.
Hernandez made the announcement today after the U.S. administration under President Donald Trump said on Friday it will rescind the TPS visa from the 57,000 Hondurans who benefit from the status living in the United States since 1999 after Hurricane Mitch devastated their Central American country. Hondurans have until Jan. 5, 2020 to leave the U.S. or risk deportation.
Today by video conference the president along with Honduran consulate leaders in the United States and government’s newly formed Migration Working Group (MWG) discussed ways to try and protect Hondurans with TPS.
"The MWG will have a close relation with Hondurans living in the United States," Hernandez told the group today in Tegucigalpa. "You aren’t alone," he added.
Hernandez says he plans to travel to the United States to talk with Honduran consulate leaders there and to lobby congress and Trump administration members "to see if we can regularize, to create a legislative package that enables our people to regularize their status."
In the meantime the president says that TPS Hondurans should keep re-registering to maintain their visa status. Hernandez says re-registering "is key to trying to continue past 18 months" when their TPS visa is set to expire.
The head of state also said the government will be opening new consulates in San Francisco, Boston, Charlotte, North Carolina and a protection agency in Phoenix, Arizona specifically for TPS beneficiaries from Honduras to provide legal services.
Trump has already eliminated TPS for Salvadorans, Nicaraguans, Haitians and Nepalese who were given the status over a decade ago to escape natural disasters or political turmoil in their respective countries.