Nicaragua

Trump administration extends deportation protections for four countries

Demonstrators outside the White House protesting against the decision by the administration to terminate TPS for people from Sudan, El Salvador, Haiti and Nicaragua.
Demonstrators outside the White House protesting against the decision by the administration to terminate TPS for people from Sudan, El Salvador, Haiti and Nicaragua. Photo: Nicholas Kamm/AFP/Getty Images

The Department of Homeland Security filed a notice Thursday that it's extending special immigration protections for about 300,000 immigrants from Sudan, El Salvador, Haiti and Nicaragua until January 2020, after a federal judge temporarily blocked the administration from rescinding the Temporary Protected Status (TPS) program last year.

The backdrop: The immigrants are citizens of nations ravaged by natural or man-made disasters who were allowed to live and work in the U.S. while their home countries recovered. Many have been living in the U.S. for more than two decades, with the government arguing that the program was created to provide temporary aid and shouldn't be continually extended. An end to the program would force immigrants to leave or face deportation.

Go deeper: Judge blocks Trump administration from ending temporary protected status

Expert Voices

As Venezuela grabs headlines, Nicaragua sinks further into dictatorship

Nicaraguans demonstrate outside the Nicaraguan Embassy in San Jose, Costa Rica on January 12, 2019, to protest against the arrest of opposition journalists.
Nicaraguans demonstrate outside the Nicaraguan Embassy in San Jose, Costa Rica, on Jan. 12, to protest the arrest of opposition journalists. Photo: Ezequiel Becerra/AFP via Getty Images

With Venezuela's political and humanitarian catastrophe back on the international radar, the crisis in Nicaragua continues to fester, largely unnoticed.

Why it matters: In December, the Inter-American Commission on Human Rights accused the Nicaraguan government of committing crimes against humanity when it crushed protests demanding the ouster of President Daniel Ortega. In absolute terms, the repression's 2018 death toll — at least 300 — is comparable to that of Venezuela, but relative to Nicaragua's much smaller population, it ranks as one of the worst human rights crises Latin America has seen in decades.

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