Here is what the Department of Homeland Security shared with the media on Friday:
The Secretary of Homeland Security Kirstjen M. Nielsen has determined that termination of the Temporary Protected Status (TPS) designation for Honduras is required pursuant to the Immigration and Nationality Act. To allow for an orderly transition, she has determined to delay the effective date of the termination for 18 months. The designation will terminate on January 5, 2020.
The decision to terminate TPS for Honduras was made after a review of the environmental disaster-related conditions upon which the country’s original 1999 TPS designation was based and an assessment of whether those originating conditions continue to exist, as required by statute. Based on careful consideration of available information, including recommendations received as part of an inter-agency consultation process, the Secretary determined that the disruption of living conditions in Honduras from Hurricane Mitch that served as the basis for its TPS designation has decreased to a degree that it should no longer be regarded as substantial. Thus, as required under the applicable statute, the current TPS designation must be terminated.
Since 1999, conditions in Honduras that resulted from the hurricane have notably improved. Additionally, since the last review of the country’s conditions in October 2016, Honduras has made substantial progress in post-hurricane recovery and reconstruction from the 1998 Hurricane Mitch.
To allow for an orderly transition, the effective date of the termination of TPS for Honduras will be delayed 18 months to provide time for individuals with TPS to arrange for their departure or to seek an alternative lawful immigration status in the United States, if eligible. Honduran citizens in the United States who benefited from TPS may still receive other protections under our immigration system for which they are eligible.
The 18-month delayed effective date will also provide time for Honduras to prepare for the return and reintegration of its citizens. During this timeframe, DHS will work with the Department of State and the Government of Honduras to help educate relevant stakeholders and facilitate an orderly transition. In addition to materials posted online, DHS components will participate in outreach activities such as teleconferences, town halls, and roundtables to ensure that affected populations have a full and accurate understanding of their rights and obligations.
Honduran citizens with current TPS registrations will be required to re-register for TPS and apply for Employment Authorization Documents in order to legally work in the United States until the termination of Honduras’ TPS designation becomes effective January 5, 2020. Further details about this termination for TPS, including the re-registration period, will appear in a Federal Register notice. Honduran TPS beneficiaries should not submit re-registration applications until the re-registration period is announced through the Federal Register notice.