The U.S. Department of Homeland Security announced Friday it would revoke temporary protected statuses offered to Hondurans on Jan. 5, 2020.
Homeland Security officials are offering designated Hondurans who have lived and worked in the U.S. 20 months to leave unless they gain immigration status. Officials enacted the temporary protected status designation for Hondurans in 1999 after Hurricane Mitch hit the Latin American country a year earlier.
The storm killed more than 5,000 people in Honduras and prompted Francisco Roque-Castro, the World Food Program’s Regional Director for Nicaragua, to say Central America had “stepped back 20 years in one day.” The U.S. granted more than 86,000 Hondurans temporary protected status after the storm, the Washington Post reported. About 50,000 Hondurans remain under that status.