TPS for Nicaraguans and Hondurans was originally granted in 1999 and since then has helped an estimated 69,000 people from those countries. One critic of the extension deemed it “the immigration version of the Brezhnev Doctrine” yet DHS head Janet Napolitano said that it was needed since both countries “continue to recover from Hurricane Mitch preventing them from adequately handling the return of their citizens.”
In the meantime the number of Haitians applying for TPS in the months since last January’s deadly earthquake has been lower than expected. Roughly 47,000 Haitian expats have applied for TPS, far below the initial government estimate of 200,000. Despite aggressive campaigning from Haitian community groups it’s anticipated that there will not be a boost in applicants before the July 20th deadline.
As we wrote in March several reasons have been attributed to the low application rate including the cost of paperwork and “fear and mistrust of government in the consequences.” Prospective candidates may be spooked by scam artists according to the New York Attorney General's office:
(Attorney Alphonso) David says one woman told his office she had paid several thousand dollars to a company that promised to help but couldn’t deliver.Image- BBC News (Thousands of Hondurans and other Central Americans were killed by Hurricane Mitch in 1999).
“She recently received notification from the federal government that the application was rejected because they failed to complete the paperwork properly. And they have refused to provide her with a refund,” David says.
Online Sources- LAHT, The Latin Americanist, Dorchester Reporter, WNYC, Palm Beach Post, National Review Online, AP