Hurricane Mitch and the flooding it brought to Central America killed more than 19,000 people in 1998. In its wake, the US granted Nicaraguans and Hondurans a Temporary Protected Status (TPS), meaning they were sheltered from deportation and allowed to get things like jobs and insurance. On Monday, the White House announced an estimated 2,500 Nicaraguans will not see their TPS designation renewed; they have 14 months—until Jan. 5, 2019—to get out or change their residency status to one that permits them to stay. More:
- The decision came from Department of Homeland Security acting secretary Elaine Duke, who the Washington Post reports found the bleak situation wrought by Hurricane Mitch wasn't a factor in Nicaragua anymore.
- As for the 57,000 Hondurans who have the same protection, a punt. Per a statement, "Based on the lack of definitive information regarding conditions on the ground [in Honduras] compared to pre-Hurricane Mitch," the TPS protection has been extended for six months.