Many Hondurans have been in the United States for at least two decades after Hurricane Mitch slammed their country.
Now the 57,000 Hondurans who live in the United States will have one last chance to apply for Temporary Protected Status, or TPS for 18 months and their protections will come to an end in 2020.
“I’ve been saving them all, the different looks. We started at 12 months first and then we went all the way to 18 months.”
More than 20 years of employment cards and a life in Oregon.
“I meant this is what I know as my country and I would go to the military to do service, you know die for this country if I have to,” Will Lopez, a Honduran TPS holder in Oregon said.
Lopez came to the United States in 1991at the age of 13 when his family was seeking a better life.
After Hurricane Mitch hit Honduras in 1998 they couldn’t go back.
He has a family of his own and a full-time job, but the news last week that he’ll no longer hold TPS status by 2020 is leaving Lopez and many other families feeling hopeless.
“I mean I grew up in Oregon. You know I went to middle school in Oregon, I went to high school in Oregon. I had my first job in Oregon, my first driver’s license in Oregon. So it’s a lot to give up," he said.
“How can I tell my kids you know hey this is going to happen in a couple of years and you know you guys might have to go visit me over there or see what happens you know,” Lopez added.
As for Miguel Hernandez and his dad, Miguel Pinto, their fears mirror that of their friend Will Lopez.
“Pretty heartbreaking. Like I love my dad. He’s helped a lot, he’s taught me like how to ride my bike without training wheels, how to cut the grass. He’s taught me a lot of things and I don’t know what I’d do without him.,” Hernandez, son of TPS holder said.
Pinto came to the United States in 1998 for similar reasons but now wonders what will happen if he is sent back to Honduras.
“If I go back to my country and take my kid with me he might end up being kidnapped by the gang members and get gang banged you know. And life is terrible back there,” Pinto said.
As the future of so many Honduran families is in Limbo, Causa, Oregon’s Immigrant Rights Association said it will continue to work with families to advocate for Congress to pass a pathway to citizenship for dreamers, TPS holders and immigrants.
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