WASHINGTON—On November 6th, the Department of Homeland Security announced that it needs moretime to assess country conditions before rendering a final decision onTemporary Protected Status (TPS) for Honduras, thereby automatically extendingthe current TPS designation for Honduras for six months, through July 5, 2018. TPSis a temporary, renewable, and statutorily authorized humanitarian migrationprogram that permits individuals to remain and work lawfully in the U.S. duringa period in which it is deemed unsafe for nationals of that country to returnhome. There are an estimated 57,000 Hondurans in the U.S. with TPS.
Bishop Joe S. Vásquez of Austin,Texas, Chairman of Committee on Migration (USCCB/COM), issued the followingstatement:
"I appreciate that the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) is seriouslyevaluating country conditions in Honduras. The automatic extension while DHS continuesits evaluation is the right thing to do for the Honduran TPS recipients livingin the United States, for the continued prosperity and growth of Honduras, andfor the security in the region. DHS should take this time to vigorously look atconditions on the ground in Honduras, to comprehensively note the existingviolence and security threats to citizens, the nascent but growing protectioninfrastructure, the ongoing poverty, and the environmental degradation thatcontinue to exist in Honduras. Our recent report "TemporaryProtected Status: A Vital Piece of the Central American Protection andProsperity Puzzle," highlights such concerns. As DHS continues this process,we pledge continued engagement, information gathering, and cooperation with boththe U.S. government and our Catholic partners in Honduras who provide extensivesocial welfare services in partnership with the U.S. and Honduran government.
While appreciative of DHS'sattention to this issue, my continued thoughts and prayers are with HonduranTPS recipients and their families who still face uncertainty in their situationhere in the United States. I also support efforts in Congress to work in abipartisan manner to find a legislative solution for long-term TPS recipients.
TPS recipients have deep ties toour communities, parishes, and country. They are businesses owners, successfulprofessionals, home owners, parents of U.S. citizen children, and mostimportantly, children of God. We must find a solution for these individuals andtheir families, and we stand ready to support Congress in its effort to do so."
Keywords: U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops, USCCB, Bishop Joe Vasquez,Committee on Migration, Migration and Refugee Services, Temporary ProtectedStatus, TPS recipients, TPS beneficiaries, Department of Homeland Security, DHS,Congress, Honduras, El Salvador, refugees, migration, prayers, legislativesolution
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