WASHINGTON, D.C. – Congressman Jim McGovern (D-MA), Ranking Member of the House Rules Committee and Co-Chair of the bipartisan Tom Lantos Human Rights Commission, issued the following statement following the Trump Administration’s decision today to end Temporary Protected Status (TPS) for thousands of Hondurans:
“I am outraged by this cruel, narrow-minded and self-defeating decision by the Trump Administration to end legal protections for 57,000 Hondurans who have resided in the United States since 1999. In its own description of Honduras, the State Department describes a country where “violent crime, such as homicide and armed robbery, is common” and “violent gang activity, such as extortion, violent street crime, rape, and narcotics and human trafficking, is widespread,” and where “local police and emergency services” fail to respond effectively. It is also a place where boys and girls are violently and forcibly recruited into gang life and sexual slavery. Why we would force law-abiding, tax-paying, productive members of our communities back to one of the most violent places on the planet defies imagination.
“Despite her protestations, Homeland Security Secretary Nielsen has the discretion to extend temporary protected status for these long-time residents of the United States, just as she has the authority to re-designate the reason for providing TPS to these individuals and families based on how conditions on-the-ground fail to guarantee the safety and security of returnees. Her failure to exercise these prerogatives underscores the hostile environment facing all immigrants today in the United States, including those who are here lawfully, like these Hondurans. To date, the Trump Administration has stripped legal protections from Salvadoran, Honduran, Haitian, Nicaraguan, Sudanese and Nepalese long-time TPS holders.”