President Donald Trump’s pick to lead the Homeland Security Department faces her first confirmation hearing on Wednesday. Among the questions expected for Kirstjen Nielsen: what will she do with the limbo status of 57,000 Hondurans left with an uncertain future?
Late Monday, the outgoing temporary DHS secretary Elaine Duke issued her edict: the temporary protected status for Nicaraguans will end in January 2019.
But for Hondurans, their date is unknown. The department will have until next July to make a decision on whether they need to also leave the country.
Tom Jawetz is vice president of immigration policy at the Center for American Progress.
"At that hearing hopefully we’ll have an opportunity to get her reaction to the Department of Homeland Security's inability to make a decision on Honduras," Jawetz said.
Hondurans and Nicaraguans who fled after the devastating Hurricane Mitch in 1998 have had their status renewed every year since.