More than 300,000 temporary-status immigrants in U.S. face loss of status

Published 30 January 2006

More than 300,000 immigrants arrived in the United States on temporary visas as a result of disasters and civil wars in their home countries; DHS is under mounting pressure not to renew these temporary permits

More than 300,000 immigrants, most of them from Central America, are in the United States under temporary protected status. Thousands of Hondurans and Nicaraguans came after Hurricane Mitch struck in 1998. A wave of Salvadorans followed in 2001 after a devastating earthquake. Their temporary status must be renewed regularly, and it does not lead to the green cards which provide permanent resident status. If the status of these temporary immigrants is not renewed, the result may be that parents and their American-born children could be separated, the number of illegal workers could skyrocket, and thousands of people could be forced back to countries that offer little.

The temporary status next expires 5 July for about 70,000 Hondurans and 3,600 Nicaraguans registered under the program, and 9 September for 220,000 Salvadorans. DHS officials must make a renewal decision sixty days before the status expires. The department is under increasing pressure from conservative Republicans in Congress and other critics of immigration not to renew the temporary stay for these immigrants.

-read more in the AP report