On November 6, the Administration announced the end of Temporary Protected Status (TPS) for Nicaraguans and took no action to protect Hondurans, automatically extending their designation for 6 months. TPS is a legal immigration status that allows citizens from other countries who are present in the U.S. during a catastrophe in their country to remain in the U.S. until it is safe to return home. As a church guided by Scripture to act for earthly peace that is built on compassion and the dignity of every person, we are disappointed by the Administration’s decision that will separate families and leave people to face an uncertain future.

Through the ELCA’s AMMPARO Strategy, our church strengthened our commitment to walk alongside children and families who are forced to flee their homes in Central America. We did this to respond to the suffering of the thousands of unaccompanied children and families that are displaced from their communities due to violence, lack of opportunities and environmental issues. We are committed to accompany churches and our partners in Central America to address these issues, knowing that today conditions in these countries are still unsafe.

The Administration has already rescinded TPS for over 1,000 people from Sudan, and now hundreds more face an uncertain future. For almost 20 years, TPS holders from Honduras and Nicaragua have worshiped alongside us and brought their gifts to our communities. Without this protection, they will be forced to leave their communities yet again. Children and family members of TPS holders, many of whom are U.S. citizens, will bear the brunt of this Administrative decision. We pray today for all who face an uncertain future due to this decision. We call on the Administration to extend TPS for Hondurans for 18 months and urge Congress to pass timely legislation that protects all TPS holders.