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Here's an Update on the Temporary Protected Status Program

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Justin Valas via Flickr
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People at an Immigration Rally

Last night, the Trump Administration announced its decision to end Temporary Protected Status (TPS) for the roughly 50,000 Haitian nationals that have been living in the U.S. since the devastating 2010 earthquake that killed more than 200,000 people. The protection will terminate on July 22, 2019, giving Haitians under TPS 18 months to return to Haiti or become subject to detention and deportation. We’re joined by a local immigration specialist to find out what this means for the Haitians living and working here in Southwest Florida under TPS.

TPS allows immigrants from certain countries to live and work temporarily in the US. The Secretary of Homeland Security can designate foreign countries for TPS if there is an armed conflict or natural disaster that makes it unsafe for nationals to return. Countries that are currently covered Haiti, Honduras, El Salvador and Nicaragua, Nepal, Somalia, South Sudan, Sudan, Syria, and Yemen.

TPS for Honduras and Nicaragua are currently set to expire on January 5. El Salvador March 9.

There are more than 400 thousand people living in the US with TPS. There are an estimated 44 thousand TPS recipients from Haiti, El Salvador and Honduras living in Florida.

Rachel Iacovone is a reporter and associate producer of Gulf Coast Live for WGCU News. Rachel came to WGCU as an intern in 2016, during the presidential race. She went on to cover Florida Gulf Coast University students at President Donald Trump's inauguration on Capitol Hill and Southwest Floridians in attendance at the following day's Women's March on Washington.Rachel was first contacted by WGCU when she was managing editor of FGCU's student-run media group, Eagle News. She helped take Eagle News from a weekly newspaper to a daily online publication with TV and radio branches within two years, winning the 2016 Society of Professional Journalists Mark of Excellence Award for Best Use of Multimedia in a cross-platform series she led for National Coming Out Day. She also won the Mark of Excellence Award for Feature Writing for her five-month coverage of an FGCU student's transition from male to female.As a WGCU reporter, she produced the first radio story in WGCU's Curious Gulf Coast project, which answered the question: Does SWFL Have More Cases of Pediatric Cancer?Rachel graduated from Florida Gulf Coast University with a bachelor's degree in journalism.