Termination of TPS Leaves 3,000 Nicaraguan Immigrants Pending Deportation to Rioting Home Country

Citizens Protesting in Managua Credit: Jefferson Sanchez Mayorga

The ongoing chaos and violence taking over the busy streets of Managua, Nicaragua is having a dramatic toll on its citizens and communities.

On Wednesday April 18, 2018, the Nicaraguan government announced changes to the social security benefits  system. Met with outcry from the people, the Turbas, “civilian shock troops” of the Sandinista National Liberation Front, invoked violence against citizens, further intensifying the situation. The underlying causes of the public outcry stem from the lack of governmental assistance and lethal corruption.

Aerial Shots of Protesters from Rotonda Ruben Dario  Credit: Jefferson Sanchez Mayorga

As of April 26, 2018 the death total is at least 28 people according to Today Nicaragua, a Nicaraguan media outlet. As a result of the growing backlash of the people, President Daniel Ortega cancelled his proposed changes to the country’s social security system.

Citizens Protesting in Managua Credit: Jefferson Sanchez Mayorga

“There are students that are trying to protest peacefully and show their frustration, but the state is responding with the Turbas,” said by Jefferson Sanchez Mayorga, a Managua native and Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) graduate. He currently resides in Managua and is one of the many experiencing the chaos occurring in the streets.

Credit: Danitza Morales

“We aren’t going to tolerate these injustices anymore and the government can’t expect for el pueblo to just put up with the dictatorship.”

Protest in Managua Sunday April 22, 2018 Credit: Danitza Morales

With civil unrest underway in Nicaragua, the repercussions may be closer to the U.S. than many think. Temporary Protective Status (TPS) is a program run directly by The Secretary of Homeland Security to protect individuals from foreign countries experiencing armed conflict, environmental disasters, or other life threatening catastrophes. In January 2018, the Trump Administration announced that immigrants from Nicaragua and 3 other countries will have their TPS terminated in 2019. With less than a year left, up to 3,000 Nicaraguan immigrants may face deportation in the near future. As the political climate in Nicaragua grows dangerously violent, forcing people to return could put them in direct danger.

Some TPS recipients may be eligible to apply for permanent residency.

United States Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) is on the record with the Washington Post, saying:“…anyone applying for lawful permanent residence must meet all eligibility requirements, and individuals with TPS should seek guidance from an attorney on whether they may qualify.” For more information about TPS, visit Alianza Americas.

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