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IRC denounces Administration’s termination of Honduras TPS: Latest of a series of decisions eroding protections for Central Americans

The Administration announced today that it will terminate Temporary Protected Status (TPS) for Honduras by January 5, 2020, leaving the future of approximately 60,000 Hondurans in uncertainty as they face the risk of expulsion back to unsafe conditions. This decision marks the 6th TPS termination by the Administration and is the latest of a series of policy decisions that erodes protections for families who have fled violence and persecution in the Northern Triangle of Central America . It follows the termination of El Salvador TPS, despite the fact that levels of violence of El Salvador are akin to those in the most deadly conflict zones around the world. It also follows the abrupt end of the Central American Minors program, which resulted in 3,800 children having their cases administratively closed without their claims for protection heard and without a safe alternative pathway to reunite with their parents lawfully in the US. 

The International Rescue Committee (IRC) is troubled by this most recent decision, as conditions remain unsafe for Hondurans to return and it risks further destabilizing an already volatile region. In 2016, Honduras had one of the highest murder rates in the world with more than 5,000 murders, at a rate of 59 murders per 100,000 people. Honduras has one of the highest rates of femicide in the world where there was a woman murdered every 14 hours in 2012, according to the Center for Women’s Rights. Gangs in Honduras threaten the local community by extorting small business and families. Additionally, Honduran TPS holders will have to make an impossible decision of whether or not to separate from their more than 53,500 U.S.-citizen children or bring them to a country they’ve never known where they would face increased risk of violence.  
IRC field offices across the United States have helped Hondurans and Salvadorans receive TPS and know how integral their contributions are to communities and the economy.  Each year, Honduras TPS holders contribute $1 billion in GDP. 85 percent of Honduran TPS holders are in the labor force. The Center for American Progress had estimated the U.S. would lose $164B in GDP over 10 Years if TPS holders from El Salvador, Honduras, and Haiti were removed from the labor force. The Immigrant Legal Resource Center had estimated that deporting all Salvadoran, Haitian, and Honduran TPS holders would cost taxpayers $3.1 billion dollars and ending TPS for these countries would also result in a $6.9 billion reduction to Social Security and Medicare contributions over a decade. 

It’s imperative that Congress create a pathway to lawful permanent residency for Honduras TPS holders as well as the other populations, including Salvadorans, whose protections have been revoked or denied.

About the IRC

The International Rescue Committee responds to the world’s worst humanitarian crises, helping to restore health, safety, education, economic wellbeing, and power to people devastated by conflict and disaster. Founded in 1933 at the call of Albert Einstein, the IRC is at work in over 40 countries and 28 offices across the U.S. helping people to survive, reclaim control of their future, and strengthen their communities. Learn more at www.rescue.org and follow the IRC on Twitter & Facebook.