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Statement by Acting Secretary of Homeland Security Elaine C. Duke on the Temporary Protected Status (TPS) Decision-Making Process

Release Date: November 10, 2017

For Immediate Release
Office of the Press Secretary
Contact: 202-282-8010

“The recent media reports regarding the TPS decision-making process are seriously flawed and I would like to correct the record. 

Earlier this week I announced a decision to terminate TPS status for Nicaragua with a twelve month delay while simultaneously allowing TPS status for Honduras to automatically extend for six months.  To reach these decisions, I received input from a number of informed administration agencies and officials – as is typical, expected and necessary when making a major policy decision.  Given White House Chief of Staff John Kelly’s former roles as Secretary of Homeland Security and the Commander of US Southern Command, he was one of the knowledgeable people with whom I spoke.

During our conversations on TPS, Chief of Staff Kelly and I discussed the TPS decision-making process he had used in May.  The Chief of Staff consistently reiterated that, as the Acting Secretary, the current decisions were mine to make and should be done in accordance with the existing law.  At no time did he pressure me to terminate TPS for Nicaragua, Honduras or El Salvador: any reports otherwise are false.

It is important to note that the administration – specifically the White House - has been united in encouraging Congress to legislatively address concerns with current long-term TPS recipients losing status through the application of existing immigration law.  No one should be forced to live in a perpetual temporary status of six to eighteen month increments.

Finally, it is a tremendous honor to serve in this administration alongside the amazing men and women of DHS.  Upon confirmation of Kirstjen Nielsen as the next Secretary of Homeland Security, I look forward to continuing our important work as the Deputy Secretary of Homeland Security.  I have no plans to go anywhere and reports to the contrary are untrue.”

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Last Updated: 02/05/2021
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