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ICYMI: Hurricanes Leave Central America Devastated; Temporary Protected Status Could Foster Stability and Recovery

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Back-to-back hurricanes Eta and Iota devastated Central American late last year. Both the Guatemalan and Honduran governments have appealed to the U.S. for Temporary Protected Status (TPS) designations to help their countries recover and stabilize in the aftermath.

Below, key reporting details the situation on the ground and highlights the urgent need for TPS designations as part of a regional approach to Central America that would not only grant relief for those seeking refuge from the disasters, but help create stability by providing economic assistance through remittances from immigrants already settled and working in the U.S..

Center for American Progress TPS Can Promote Stability and Recovery for Central America Countries Hit by Recent Hurricanes

By Silva Mathema and Tom Jawetz, December 21, 2020 

Based upon the level of economic damage; loss of homes and livelihoods; exacerbated and widespread food insecurity; and destruction of critical infrastructure such as roads, bridges, airports, and public health facilities resulting from these two unprecedented hurricanes—particularly in the middle of an ongoing pandemic that has already wreaked havoc on the countries’ public health systems and economies—the Central American countries affected by hurricanes Eta and Iota already qualify for TPS designations based upon one or two of the grounds provide in the statute.53 In the coming months, these countries will undoubtedly see food insecurity, public health crises, homelessness, and poverty worsen as already fragile public systems are placed under even greater pressure.

… TPS was created by Congress 30 years ago to address precisely this type of situation. 


Reuters United States asked to allow Guatemalans to stay on humanitarian grounds after storm

November 11, 2020


The Guardian ‘Everything buried in mud’: Hurricane Eta’s devastating blow to Honduras

By Jeff Ernst, November 11, 2020


The Washington Post Honduras president seeks assistance, warns of increased migration in wake of devastating hurricanes

By Kevin Sieff, December 4, 2020


Reuters Hurricanes Eta and Iota caused $10 billion in damages in Honduras, foreign minister says

By Gustavo Palencia, December 14, 2020


NPR Back-To-Back Hurricanes Created An Unprecedented Disaster In Honduras

By Jason Beaubien, December 14, 2020


Reuters U.N. says Honduras’ hurricane losses total $1.9 bln, far below government estimate

December 20, 2020


Reuters Biden team weighs deportation relief for more than 1 million Hondurans, Guatemalans

By Ted Hesson and Laura Gottesdiener, December 21, 2020


Reuters Guatemala estimates November hurricane damages at $770 million

By Reuters Staff, January 13, 2021