Daniel Sharp, legal director at the Central American Resource Center in Los Angeles, said he doesn't believe most immigrants with the status will leave after setting down roots with USA -born children, jobs and homes.
But there's another whole area where the administration can act on their desire to get rid of immigrants without congressional approval: targeting those legally in the United States under what is known as the Temporary Protected Status (TPS) program.
Following a USA -backed military coup in 2009, in which the party of current president Juan Orlando Hernandez forcibly took power, thousands of Hondurans have fled the country, including numerous asylum-seekers who traveled through Mexico to the US border in recent weeks, arriving this week. Each group has 12 to 18 months to leave the country or find a legal way to remain.
"It makes the situation in Honduras and Central America worse and will assuredly come back to haunt us in time", Kevin Appleby, the senior director of worldwide migration policy at the Center for Migration Studies said.
The president's supporters note the protections were never meant to be permanent.
In a statement, DHS wrote that Nielsen based her decision on "careful consideration of available information, including recommendations received as part of an inter-agency consultation process".
"Despite substantial efforts made by the United States and the worldwide community to improve conditions in Honduras, the damage of these cataclysmic events compounded by the residual effects of disease, violence, and poverty have resulted in a stagnant recovery, the lawmakers wrote".
The United States is terminating the temporary protected status for Honduras effective January 2020, the US Department of Homeland Security (DHS) said in a press release on Friday.
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Groups that favor limited immigration praised the administration's decision, saying the effects of Hurricane Mitch are long-gone.
Marlon Tabora, the Honduras ambassador to the United States, said the conditions did not exist in the Central American country to deal with the repatriation of tens of thousands of people. While some countries have been taken off the list, others have stayed on it for extended periods, which critics say turns the program into default amnesty.
Likewise, and according to the Washington Post, the government of Donald Trump would not be considering the current conditions of the country that "remains one of the most violent countries in the world, and has been involved in political instability since presidential elections a year ago whose legitimacy was rejected by the Organization of American States and other global observers". "There can be no basis for an extension".
The administration has already let protections for several countries expire, including El Salvador, Haiti, Nicaragua, Sudan, Liberia and Nepal.
In November, the Trump administration ended the temporary protected status designation for Haiti effective in 18 months due to noticeable progress since the 2010 natural disaster in that country.
After El Salvador, Hondurans are the second largest nationality with TPS to lose their status, which was granted to the country in 1999 following the devastation of Hurricane Mitch. "The loss of these hardworking people will have a negative impact on our economy, in addition to disrupting so many lives in our community".
The Honduran government was pressuring the White House to keep TPS for Honduran immigrants.
Karen Valladares, the director of the National Forum for Migration, a non-governmental organization in Honduras, said people still are choosing to leave because of gang and drug-related violence and lack of economic opportunities.
Honduras has been roiled by political violence since the reelection of President Juan Orlando Hernández in April. The U.S. knows the efforts we've made.