Report: Extending Temporary Protected Status for Honduras: Country Conditions and U.S. Legal Requirements
In January 1999, the U.S. government announced the designation of Honduras for Temporary Protected Status (TPS). This designation was premised on the significant disruptions and damage caused by Hurricane Mitch, which had ravaged Honduras in late October 1998. TPS for Honduras has been extended over the years, and the current period of designation is set to expire in early January 2018. In the current political moment, there is concern about whether this TPS designation will be extended once again. Recent reporting suggests that Department of State has recommended to the Department of Homeland Security that TPS be terminated for Honduras and other countries.
This report provides a background on TPS, and also undertakes a detailed examination of the justifications offered over the years for extending TPS for Honduras. Each of these past extension decisions concluded, as required by the TPS statute, that Honduras is not able to adequately handle the return of its nationals who are residing in the U.S. with TPS. Our analysis reveals that the U.S. government has premised these past extension decisions on six categories of factors: climate and environment; economy; infrastructure; public health; safety and security; and governance.
The report proceeds to assess these same factors in present-day Honduras. Honduras remains extremely vulnerable to natural disasters, which have compromised the country's infrastructure and stalled recovery efforts. Serious challenges persist for the Honduran economy, including high levels of unemployment and underemployment. Honduras also suffers from a severe shortage of housing, higher-than-average levels of food insecurity, and limited capacity in the health sector. Finally, the security situation in Honduras continues to deteriorate, fueling displacement, and placing strains on a government already weakened by corruption and impunity. These findings compel the conclusion that TPS for Honduras should be extended.
Funding for this report was provided by the Central America and Mexico Migration Alliance (CAMMINA).