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PLAYING POLITICS WITH HUMANITARIAN PROTECTIONS: HOW POLITICAL AIMS TRUMPED U.S. NATIONAL SECURITY AND THE SAFETY OF TPS RECIPIENTS
[Senate Prints 116-15]
[From the U.S. Government Publishing Office]







116th Congress    }                                      {      S. Prt.   
                            COMMITTEE PRINT
 1st Session      }                                      {      116-15
_______________________________________________________________________


 
  PLAYING POLITICS WITH HUMANITARIAN PROTECTIONS: HOW POLITICAL AIMS 
    TRUMPED U.S. NATIONAL SECURITY AND THE SAFETY OF TPS RECIPIENTS

                               __________

                        A MINORITY STAFF REPORT

                      PREPARED FOR THE USE OF THE

                     COMMITTEE ON FOREIGN RELATIONS

                          UNITED STATES SENATE

                     One Hundred Sixteenth Congress

                             First Session

                           November 07, 2019

                                     



              [GRAPHIC(S) NOT AVAILABLE IN TIFF FORMAT]



  Printed for the use of the Committee om Foreign Relations
        
               Availale via World Wide Web:
                  http://www.govinfo.gov
                   
                             __________

                      U.S. GOVERNMENT PUBLISHING OFFICE
                      
38-237 PDF                 WASHINGTON : 2019 
                  
               

   







                 COMMITTEE ON FOREIGN RELATIONS        

                JAMES E. RISCH, Idaho, Chairman        
MARCO RUBIO, Florida                 ROBERT MENENDEZ, New Jersey
RON JOHNSON, Wisconsin               BENJAMIN L. CARDIN, Maryland
CORY GARDNER, Colorado               JEANNE SHAHEEN, New Hampshire
MITT ROMNEY, Utah                    CHRISTOPHER A. COONS, Delaware
LINDSEY GRAHAM, South Carolina       TOM UDALL, New Mexico
JOHNNY ISAKSON, Georgia              CHRISTOPHER MURPHY, Connecticut
JOHN BARRASSO, Wyoming               TIM KAINE, Virginia
ROB PORTMAN, Ohio                    EDWARD J. MARKEY, Massachusetts
RAND PAUL, Kentucky                  JEFF MERKLEY, Oregon
TODD YOUNG, Indiana                  CORY A. BOOKER, New Jersey
TED CRUZ, Texas
                  Christopher M. Socha, Staff Director        
               Jessica Lewis, Democratic Staff Director        
                    John Dutton, Chief Clerk        

                              (ii)        






















                            C O N T E N T S

                              ----------                              
                                                                   Page

Letter of Transmittal............................................     v

Executive Summary................................................     1

Chapter One--Temporary Protected Status: Longstanding 
  Humanitarian Relief............................................     5

    Statutory Authority for Temporary Protected Status...........     5

    Humanitarian Relief for El Salvador, Honduras, and Haiti.....     6

    The Trump Administration Abandons Longstanding Precedent.....     9

    Conclusion...................................................    10

Chapter Two--Ignoring the Alarm Bells: How the Trump 
  Administration Disregarded Repeated Warnings from the State 
  Department and U.S. Embassies..................................    11

    The Contradictions of Secretary Tillerson's Recommendation...    12

    The Secretary's Personal Staff Politicizes the Process.......    14

    Disregard for the State Department's Top Career Diplomat.....    15

    Overlooking the Expertise of the Bureau of Western Hemisphere 
      Affairs (WHA)..............................................    16

    Ignoring the Assessment of the Bureau of Population, 
      Refugees, and Migration (PRM)..............................    17

    Rejecting the Recommendations of Ambassadors and Embassies...    18

    Conclusion...................................................    19

Chapter Three--Endangering National Security: How the Trump 
  Administration Jeopardized Regional Stability and U.S. Efforts 
  to Combat Drug Trafficking and Criminal Gangs..................    21

    U.S. National Security Interests in El Salvador, Honduras, 
      and Haiti..................................................    22

    Ending TPS: A Self-Inflicted Wound to U.S. National Security.    24

    The Collateral Damage of Suspending U.S. Foreign Assistance..    27

    Conclusion...................................................    28

Chapter Four--Harming American Families: How the Trump 
  Administration Exposed TPS Recipients and American Citizen 
  Children to Crime, Violence, and Family Separation.............    31

    Endangering the Safety of TPS Recipients.....................    32

    Exposing American Children to Criminal Violence..............    35

    Separating American Families.................................    37

    Accelerating Irregular Migration to the U.S..................    38

    Conclusion...................................................    40

Findings and Recommendations.....................................    41

    Principal Findings...........................................    41

    Recommendations..............................................    43



                                 (iii)
                                 
                                 
                                 
                                ANNEXES

Annex 1--TPS Statute and History.................................    47

Annex 2--Current TPS Litigation..................................    51

Annex 3--

Letter from Secretary Tillerson to Acting Secretary Duke.........    57

    Recommendation Regarding Temporary Protected Status (TPS) for 
      Haiti......................................................    61

    Recommendation Regarding Temporary Protected Status (TPS) for 
      Honduras...................................................    67

    Recommendation Regarding Temporary Protected Status (TPS) for 
      El Salvador................................................    73

Action Memo for Secretary Tillerson from Acting Assistant 
  Secretary Henshaw and Acting Assistant Secretary Palmieri--

    Recommendation Regarding Temporary Protected Status (TPS) for 
      Honduras, Nicaragua, Haiti, and El Salvador................    81

    Tab 1: WHA--Terminating TPS..................................    87

    Tab 2: S/P--Terminating TPS..................................    91

    Tab 3: PRM--Extending TPS....................................    95

    Tab 4: PRM and WHA Assessment of the Foreign Policy 
      Implications...............................................    99

    Tab 5: Country Conditions Report for El Salvador.............   101

    Tab 6: Country Conditions Report for Haiti...................   111

    Tab 7: Country Conditions Report for Honduras................   119

State Department Cable--

    Haiti: Temporary Protected Status Recommendation.............   127

    El Salvador: Temporary Protected Status Recommendation.......   131

    Honduras: Temporary Protected Status Recommendation..........   137


      
      
      
      


                         LETTER OF TRANSMITTAL

                              ----------                              

                              United States Senate,
                            Committee on Foreign Relations,
                                  Washington, DC, November 7, 2019.



    Dear Colleagues: Congress established the Temporary 
Protected Status (TPS) program in 1990 to provide humanitarian 
protections to foreign nationals within the United States who 
do not meet the legal definition of refugee or asylee, but who 
are nonetheless unable to return to their homeland due to the 
perils of armed conflict or natural disasters. Since the 
inception of TPS, Democratic and Republican administrations 
have utilized the TPS statute to provide humanitarian relief to 
hundreds of thousands of foreign nationals. However, during the 
past two years, the Trump administration has departed sharply 
from historical precedent in its interpretation and application 
of the TPS statute. Specifically, the administration sought to 
rescind humanitarian protections from nearly 400,000 TPS 
recipients from El Salvador, Honduras, and Haiti, despite 
readily apparent evidence of continued instability in each 
country.
    Given the precarious conditions in the three countries, I 
directed my senior Senate Foreign Relations Committee (SFRC) 
staff member for the Western Hemisphere, Brandon P. Yoder, and 
SFRC Democratic Staff to investigate the role of the Department 
of State in the Trump administration's decision to terminate 
the TPS designations El Salvador, Honduras, and Haiti. During 
the course of this investigation, SFRC Democratic Staff secured 
access to a broad array of unclassified State Department 
documents related to the TPS decision-making process. These 
documents illustrated a troubling pattern of facts.
    Senior officials at all levels of the State Department, 
including the U.S. Embassies in the three countries, repeatedly 
warned the Trump administration of the dire consequences that 
would result from the decisions to end TPS for El Salvador, 
Honduras, and Haiti. Senior State Department officials alerted 
the Trump administration that terminating the three TPS 
designations would have negative consequences for U.S. national 
security and would likely prompt increased irregular migration 
in the region.

                                  (v)

    Additionally, senior diplomats cautioned that nearly 
400,000 TPS recipients, specifically those returning to El 
Salvador and Honduras, would face alarming levels of criminal 
violence and unstable social conditions in their countries of 
origin. Even more disturbing, officials throughout the State 
Department notified the Trump administration that an estimated 
273,200 U.S. citizen children would face similar levels of 
crime and violence if they accompanied their TPS recipient 
parents. In several chilling cases, the State Department 
directly informed senior Trump administration officials that 
the American children who accompanied their TPS recipient 
parents would be vulnerable to recruitment by illicit actors, 
such as MS-13, and that these criminal gangs would be 
strengthened as a result. In the face of such risks, far too 
many TPS recipients will feel forced to leave their U.S. 
citizen children in the United States, prompting a new family 
separation crisis--one that has a direct impact on American 
families.
    Despite these warnings, the Trump administration recklessly 
sought to end the TPS designations for El Salvador, Honduras, 
and Haiti with full knowledge of the inherent dangers of its 
decisions. SFRC Democratic Staff also revealed that in 
recommending the termination of the three TPS programs, senior 
Trump administration officials made explicit written references 
related to the 2020 election period--considerations which have 
no basis for humanitarian protections.
    The report by Mr. Yoder and SFRC Democratic Staff 
demonstrates the manner in which decisions related to 
immigration matters have been increasingly politicized since 
the start of 2017. Nearly three decades ago, Congress came 
together in bipartisan consensus to establish TPS, in 
recognition of the importance of maintaining the United States' 
historical role as a place of refuge for all those unable to 
return safely to their homelands. Today, there must be a 
bipartisan sense of urgency to defend the integrity of the TPS 
program and reverse a decision that directly threatens the 
well-being of hundreds of thousands of men, women, and 
children--many of whom have been living in the United States 
for years. It is also time for Congress to come together to 
find a permanent solution for the nearly 400,000 TPS recipients 
from El Salvador, Honduras, and Haiti who have been productive 
members of our communities and our nation, in some cases for 
over two decades. We cannot afford to fail in this endeavor.
            Sincerely,
                                           Robert Menendez,
                                                    Ranking Member.
                           EXECUTIVE SUMMARY

                              ----------                              

    Since 1990, Congress has authorized humanitarian relief to 
foreign nationals in the United States who are unable to return 
to their countries of origin due to armed conflict or natural 
disasters that would pose a serious threat to their personal 
safety. Over the last 29 years, Republican and Democratic 
administrations alike have designated and extended these 
protections, known as Temporary Protected Status (TPS), after 
carefully weighing and assessing the dangers and the risks 
facing individuals should they be forced to return to their 
homeland. Eleven months into the Trump administration, however, 
the administration abruptly began seeking to end these 
protections. In particular, the administration's effort to 
strip TPS from nearly 400,000 individuals from El Salvador, 
Honduras, and Haiti would revoke their ability to remain in the 
United States, setting in motion a domestic and international 
crisis with grave implications for U.S. national security and 
severe risks to the personal safety of hundreds of thousands of 
people.\1\
---------------------------------------------------------------------------
    \1\ Since January 2017, the Trump administration has sought to 
terminate the TPS designations for six countries: El Salvador, Haiti, 
Honduras, Nepal, Nicaragua, and Sudan. This report examines the efforts 
to terminate the TPS designations for El Salvador, Honduras, and Haiti. 
The number of TPS recipients comes from data provided by U.S. 
Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) to the Congressional 
Research Service. Congressional Research Service (CRS), Temporary 
Protected Status: Overview and Current Issues, at 5, Table I, updated 
Mar. 29, 2019.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------
    While the Trump administration's efforts have been stymied 
to date by a series of judicial injunctions, terminating the 
three TPS designations will have catastrophic consequences for 
U.S. foreign policy, including setting off a new wave of 
irregular migration towards the United States. Terminating 
these humanitarian protections will also lead to a de facto 
forced separation of American families, as up to 273,000 U.S. 
citizen children could be separated from their TPS recipient 
parents--a figure that exponentially eclipses the number of 
migrant children separated from their parents by the Trump 
administration to date.\2\
---------------------------------------------------------------------------
    \2\ The number of TPS recipients' children comes from Robert Warren 
& Donald Kerwin, A Statistical and Demographic Profile of the US 
Temporary Protected Status Populations from El Salvador, Honduras, and 
Haiti, Journal on Migration and Human Security, at 581 (Aug. 2017).
---------------------------------------------------------------------------
    By seeking to deny continued humanitarian relief to 
hundreds of thousands of TPS recipients and return them to El 
Salvador, Honduras, and Haiti, the Trump administration risks 
further undermining the political stability and internal 
security conditions of these countries. This carries 
significant negative consequences for U.S national interests. 
In the case of El Salvador and Honduras, it would also subject 
TPS recipients--and any of their U.S. citizen children that 
accompany them--to the alarming levels of criminal violence 
perpetrated by narcotics traffickers and violent street gangs, 
such as MS-13, and strengthen these illicit organizations in 
the process.
    Disturbingly, the Trump administration decided to terminate 
the TPS designations for these three countries with full 
knowledge of the overwhelming magnitude of the crisis it was 
creating. Throughout 2017, the U.S. Embassies in San Salvador, 
Tegucigalpa, and Port-au-Prince alerted senior Trump 
administration officials at the National Security Council 
(NSC), Department of State, and Department of Homeland Security 
(DHS) in writing of the consequences of terminating TPS for the 
three countries. Specifically, U.S. Embassies cautioned that 
such decisions will harm U.S. national security, trigger a new 
wave of migration to the United States, and jeopardize the 
safety of TPS recipients and their American children. Senior 
officials at all levels of the State Department provided 
additional written warnings and signaled that these decisions 
would undermine the Trump administration's foreign policy 
priorities, which include countering transnational criminal 
organizations and consolidating the rule of law in the three 
countries in order to address the underlying factors driving 
migration towards the United States. The Trump administration 
intentionally ignored these warnings.
    Additionally, in one alarming example, Senate Foreign 
Relations Committee Democratic Staff uncovered that senior 
Trump administration appointees in the State Department 
recommended a shorter termination period to avoid hundreds of 
thousands of TPS recipients losing their status during the 
height of the 2020 election. Trump administration political 
appointees thus injected electoral considerations into the 
decision-making process not contemplated under the TPS statute, 
raising the likely prospect that the Trump administration 
elevated electoral concerns over U.S. national security and the 
personal safety of nearly 400,000 TPS recipients and an 
estimated 273,000 American children.
Principal Findings
    The Senate Foreign Relations Committee Democratic Staff's 
investigation into the role of the U.S. Department of State in 
the Trump administration's decisions to terminate TPS 
designations for El Salvador, Honduras, and Haiti found the 
following:


    2020 election considerations were injected into the 
        decision to end TPS for El Salvador, Honduras, and 
        Haiti;

    The Trump administration announced the termination of TPS 
        for the three countries after intentionally ignoring 
        risks to U.S. national security priorities;

    When recommending the termination of the three TPS 
        designations, Trump administration officials were aware 
        that TPS recipients--and any of their accompanying 
        American children--would face crime and violence if 
        repatriated;

    Ending TPS for the three countries would lead to an 
        unprecedented wave of de facto forced separation of 
        American families; and

    In ending TPS for the three countries, the Trump 
        administration knowingly made a decision that could 
        accelerate irregular migration to the United States.


    This report provides an in-depth review of the State 
Department's decisions and issues recommendations for 
legislative action to strengthen the TPS program and insulate 
it from future political manipulation.\3\ Chapter One provides 
an overview of TPS and details how the Trump administration 
abandoned the precedent set by Democratic and Republican 
administrations regarding designations and extensions for El 
Salvador, Honduras, and Haiti.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------
    \3\ The U.S. Senate Committee on Foreign Relations is the principal 
Senate committee responsible for conducting oversight of U.S. foreign 
policy and the U.S. Department of State. As such, this report 
exclusively focuses on the role of the Department of State in the TPS 
program. It does not review DHS's internal decision-making processes 
for TPS.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------
    Chapter Two examines the Trump administration's 
politicization of the State Department's decision-making 
process and disregard for the expertise of senior national 
security experts, including a previously undisclosed memorandum 
of dissent and personal appeal by then-Undersecretary of State 
Thomas Shannon to then-Secretary of State Rex Tillerson. 
Chapter Three describes how Trump administration officials 
recommended terminating TPS despite direct knowledge that such 
a decision would likely lead the three foreign governments to 
take retaliatory actions that run counter to U.S. national 
security. This chapter also examines how the Trump 
administration's March 2019 decision to curtail U.S. foreign 
assistance for El Salvador and Honduras undermines U.S. efforts 
to address the factors driving irregular migration.
    Chapter Four delineates how State Department and U.S. 
Embassy officials cautioned that the three countries lacked the 
capacity to guarantee the safety of the hundreds of thousands 
of returning citizens, or the security of their American 
children that would accompany them. The chapter depicts how, in 
the face of such risks to their U.S. citizen children, many TPS 
recipients would be compelled to leave their American children 
in the United States, thereby creating an unprecedented wave of 
de facto forced family separation.
    The Findings and Recommendations outlines legislative 
action needed to depoliticize the TPS program and to ensure 
that future decisions regarding the designation, extension, and 
termination of TPS are based on the objective examination of 
country conditions. This section recommends that the State 
Department's Office of the Inspector General investigate the 
politicization of the administration's TPS decisions and that 
the Trump administration immediately exercise its authority to 
extend the TPS designations for El Salvador, Honduras, and 
Haiti.
    The report includes three annexes: (1) the statutory 
authority for TPS and historical background on its application; 
(2) a brief summary of ongoing litigation related to the 
termination of TPS designations for El Salvador, Honduras, and 
Haiti; and (3) State Department documents reviewed for this 
report.
    In conducting its investigation and compiling this report, 
Senate Foreign Relations Committee Democratic Staff reviewed 
unclassified internal documents and memoranda from the State 
Department related to its recommendations regarding the TPS 
designations for El Salvador, Honduras, and Haiti. These 
documents include Secretary Tillerson's recommendation to 
terminate TPS, State Department assessments on country 
conditions in El Salvador, Honduras, and Haiti, diplomatic 
cables from U.S. Embassies from the three countries, and a 
memorandum to Tillerson from Undersecretary Shannon, the most 
senior career Foreign Service Officer in the Department of 
State at that time. Many of these documents were subsequently 
made publicly available through Freedom of Information Act 
(FOIA) request and litigation, and are included in Annex 3. 
Staff also traveled to El Salvador, Honduras, and Haiti.

                              CHAPTER ONE

                              ----------                              


                      Temporary Protected Status: 
                    Longstanding Humanitarian Relief

        ``[N]atural disasters have generated a cascade of political, 
        economic, 
        and social crises whose impacts are still deeply felt.''

                       --Undersecretary of State Thomas Shannon \4\
---------------------------------------------------------------------------
    \4\ Memorandum from Thomas A. Shannon, Under Secretary for 
Political Affairs, to Secretary Rex Tillerson (``Shannon Memorandum''), 
at 2, Oct. 23, 2017.


    Congress established the Temporary Protected Status (TPS) 
program in 1990 to provide humanitarian relief to foreign 
nationals within the United States who are unable to return to 
their country of origin due to potential threats to their 
personal safety.\5\ In establishing TPS, Congress re-affirmed 
the need to provide temporary safe haven to certain foreign 
nationals in the United States who do not meet the legal 
definition of refugee or asylee, but nonetheless are unable to 
return to their homeland due to the perils of armed conflict or 
natural disasters.\6\
---------------------------------------------------------------------------
    \5\ Immigration and Nationality Act of 1990, Pub. L. No. 101-649, 8 
U.S.C. Sec. 1254a.
    \6\ CRS, Temporary Protected Status: Overview and Current Issues, 
at 2.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------
    Since 1990, Democratic and Republican presidents and their 
administrations have utilized TPS to provide humanitarian 
relief to foreign nationals from a wide range of countries. 
Specifically, successive administrations from both parties have 
maintained TPS for El Salvador, Honduras, and Haiti as initial 
natural disasters have, in the words of former Undersecretary 
of State Thomas Shannon, ``generated a cascade of political, 
economic, and social crises whose impacts are still deeply 
felt.'' \7\ Nevertheless, in 2017 and 2018, the Trump 
administration announced the termination of TPS designations 
for the three countries, departing radically from the 
historical precedent of how the TPS statute had been 
interpreted and applied for these countries.\8\
---------------------------------------------------------------------------
    \7\ Shannon Memorandum at 2.
    \8\ The Trump administration announced the termination of the three 
TPS designations on the following dates: Haiti--November 20, 2017; El 
Salvador--January 8, 2018; and Honduras--May 4, 2019. Press Release, 
Department of Homeland Security, ``Acting Secretary Elaine Duke 
Announcement on Temporary Protected Status for Haiti,'' Nov. 20, 2017; 
Press Release, Department of Homeland Security, ``Secretary of Homeland 
Security Kirstjen M. Nielsen Announcement on Temporary Protected Status 
for El Salvador,'' Jan. 8, 2018; Press Release, Department of Homeland 
Security, ``Secretary of Homeland Security Kirstjen M. Nielsen 
Announcement on Temporary Protected Status for Honduras,'' May 4, 2018.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------

Statutory Authority for Temporary Protected Status

    Upholding the United States' longstanding tradition as a 
refuge for individuals and populations facing danger in their 
countries of origin, Congress established TPS as part of the 
Immigration Act of 1990 to provide humanitarian protection to 
foreign nationals whose countries were devastated by conflict 
or natural disasters. As a result, under existing statute, the 
Secretary of Homeland Security\9\ may designate a foreign 
country or any part of a foreign country for TPS for the 
following conditions:
---------------------------------------------------------------------------
    \9\ Under the Immigration and Nationality Act of 1990 (Pub. L. No. 
101-649), the authority to designate a country for TPS was initially 
vested in the Attorney General. Following approval of the Homeland 
Security Act of 2002 (Pub. L. No. 107-296), this authority was 
transferred to the Secretary of Homeland Security.


    ongoing armed conflict in a foreign state that poses a 
---------------------------------------------------------------------------
        serious threat to personal safety;

    a foreign state requests TPS because it temporarily cannot 
        handle the return of its nationals due to an 
        environmental disaster; or

    extraordinary and temporary conditions in a foreign state 
        that prevent its nationals from safely returning.\10\
---------------------------------------------------------------------------
    \10\ 8 U.S.C. Sec. 1254a; CRS, Temporary Protected Status: Overview 
and Current Issues, at 2. 


    The TPS statute requires the Secretary of Homeland Security 
to consult with appropriate U.S. Government agencies--
predominantly the Department of State--prior to designating a 
country for TPS.\11\ A country may be designated for TPS for a 
period of six to eighteen months.\12\ At the end of the 
designation period, the Secretary of Homeland Security may make 
a new designation, extend the existing designation, or 
terminate the existing designation.\13\
---------------------------------------------------------------------------
    \11\ CRS, Temporary Protected Status: Overview and Current Issues, 
at 2.
    \12\ 8 U.S.C. Sec. 1254a.
    \13\ Id.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------
    To be eligible for TPS, foreign nationals must have been 
present in the United States at the time of the most recent 
designation and be able to show their continuous presence in 
the United States since that time.\14\ TPS recipients are 
entitled to work authorization in the United States and may not 
be removed or deported from the United States while they 
maintain TPS status.\15\ TPS recipients must file a formal 
application, pay an application fee, and pay a fee for a 
background check and biometrics review.\16\ Foreign nationals 
convicted of a felony in the United States or involved in drug 
offenses or terrorist activities are ineligible for TPS.\17\
---------------------------------------------------------------------------
    \14\ 8 C.F.R. Sec. 244.9; CRS, Temporary Protected Status: Overview 
and Current Issues, at 2.
    \15\ 8 U.S.C. Sec. 1254a.
    \16\ 8 U.S.C. Sec. 1254a; 8 C.F.R. Sec. 103.7; CRS, Temporary 
Protected Status: Overview and Current Issues, at 2.
    \17\ CRS, Temporary Protected Status: Overview and Current Issues, 
at 2-3.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------
    Notably, as established by Congress in the Immigration Act 
of 1990 and in existing statute, TPS does not provide foreign 
nationals with a path to obtain lawful permanent residence 
(known as a Green Card) or citizenship in the United States.

Humanitarian Relief for El Salvador, Honduras, and Haiti

    Following the statute and the spirit of the law, the U.S. 
Government designated El Salvador, Honduras, and Haiti for TPS 
in the aftermath of massive natural disasters, and has provided 
continuing humanitarian relief to hundreds of thousands of 
foreign nationals from the three countries that reside in the 
United States.


 
------------------------------------------------------------------------
         Country                             # of TPS Recipients\18\
------------------------------------------------------------------------
El Salvador                              251,526
Honduras                                 80,633
Haiti                                    56,209
  Total                                  388,368
------------------------------------------------------------------------
\18\ The number of TPS recipients comes from data provided by USCIS to
  the Congressional Research Service. CRS, Temporary Protected Status:
  Overview and Current Issues,  at 5, Table 1.

    Beyond the initial designations related to natural 
disasters, the U.S. justification for continuing to provide TPS 
for Salvadoran, Honduran, and Haitian nationals consistently 
recognized that the three governments lacked the capacity to 
safely receive back tens of thousands of their own citizens--a 
key element of the TPS statute.\19\ Furthermore, many of the 
TPS extensions also affirm that the repatriation of such large 
numbers of people would have undercut disaster recovery efforts 
and would further complicate challenges that remain in the 
three countries, including challenges exacerbated by events 
that took place after the country was designated for TPS.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------
    \19\ See Annex 1 for relevant excerpts of the TPS statute, 8 U.S.C. 
Sec. 1254a.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------
    In the case of Honduras, the Clinton administration 
designated the country for TPS in January 1999 in the aftermath 
of the extensive destruction caused by Hurricane Mitch.\20\ 
Given the overwhelming magnitude of the damage caused by the 
hurricane and the way in which it touched every aspect of daily 
life in Honduras, including governance and state presence, the 
U.S. Government approved 14 extensions of TPS for Honduran 
nationals.\21\ In the earliest extensions of the TPS 
designation for Honduras, the U.S. Government offered an 
assessment of the scope of the widespread impact that Hurricane 
Mitch had on the country's roads and bridges, housing, urban 
water systems, and food supplies and security, as well as 
related levels of malnutrition.\22\
---------------------------------------------------------------------------
    \20\ Designation of Honduras Under Temporary Protected Status, 64 
Fed. Reg. 524, Jan. 5, 1999.
    \21\ See, e.g., Extension of Designation of Honduras Under 
Temporary Protected Status Program, 65 Fed. Reg. 30438, May 11, 2000; 
Extension of the Designation of Honduras for Temporary Protected 
Status, 81 Fed. Reg. 30331, May 16, 2016. See Annex 1 for a complete 
list of the original designation and the extensions of the designation 
for TPS for Honduras.
    \22\ See, e.g., Extension of the Designation of Honduras Under the 
Temporary Protected Status Program, 67 Fed. Reg. 22451, May 3, 2002; 
Extension of the Designation of Honduras Under Temporary Protected 
Status Program; Automatic Extension of Employment Authorization 
Documentation for Hondurans, 68 Fed. Reg. 23744, May 5, 2003; Extension 
of the Designation of Temporary Protected Status for Honduras; 
Automatic Extension of Employment Authorization Documentation for 
Honduras TPS Beneficiaries, 69 Fed. Reg. 64084, Nov. 3, 2004.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------
    As of May 2007, the Bush administration had identified 
that, as a result of the extensive destruction caused by 
Hurricane Mitch, Honduras faced ``daunting long-term 
development challenges with hundreds of thousands of people 
living in areas designated as `high risk.' '' \23\ In October 
2014, the Obama administration's assessment of conditions in 
Honduras included a description of the enduring impact of 
Hurricane Mitch and subsequent natural disasters, noting that 
``Honduras is considered to be among the countries that are the 
most vulnerable to natural disasters,'' and citing the United 
Nations Development Programme, which stated that ``Mitch 
economically and socially set-back [sic] Honduras by twenty 
years.'' \24\
---------------------------------------------------------------------------
    \23\ Extension of the Designation of Honduras for Temporary 
Protected Status; Automatic Extension of Employment Authorization 
Documentation for Honduran TPS Beneficiaries, 72 Fed. Reg. 29529, May 
29, 2007.
    \24\ Extension of the Designation of Honduras for Temporary 
Protected Status, 79 Fed. Reg. 62170, October 16, 2014.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------
    The Bush administration designated El Salvador for TPS in 
2001 in the wake of three devastating earthquakes that killed 
more than 1,000 people and displaced approximately 1.3 million 
people.\25\ Due to the far-reaching damage caused by the 
temblors, subsequent natural disasters, and the manner in which 
these crises have undermined governance and the rule of law in 
the country, the U.S. Government extended TPS for Salvadoran 
nationals on 11 separate occasions since 2001.\26\ In 
justifying the initial extensions of the El Salvador TPS 
designation, the U.S. Government provided details on the 
overall disruption of living conditions, including the exact 
number of houses and hospitals destroyed by the 2001 
earthquakes, as well as the impact on critical 
infrastructure.\27\
---------------------------------------------------------------------------
    \25\ Designation of El Salvador Under Temporary Protected Status 
Program, 66 Fed. Reg. 14214, Mar. 9, 2001.
    \26\ See, e.g., Extension of the Designation of El Salvador Under 
Temporary Protected Status Program; Automatic Extension of Employment 
Authorization Documentation for El Salvador, 68 Fed. Reg. 42071, July 
16, 2003; Extension of the Designation of El Salvador for Temporary 
Protected Status, 81 Fed. Reg. 44645, July 8, 2016. See Annex 1 for a 
complete list of the original designation and extensions of the 
designation for TPS for El Salvador.
    \27\ See, e.g., Extension of the Designation of El Salvador Under 
the Temporary Protected Status Program; Automatic Extension of 
Employment Authorization Documentation for Salvadorans, 67 Fed. Reg. 
46000, July 11, 2002.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------
    By 2008, the Bush administration recognized that the 
enduring devastation had aggravated the country's existing 
social and economic fragility, and it justified the extension 
of TPS by stating ``[t]ransportation, housing, education, and 
health sectors are still suffering from the 2001 earthquakes, 
the lingering effects of which limit El Salvador's ability to 
absorb a large number of potential returnees.'' \28\ In the 
justification of the two most recent extensions of the TPS 
designation for El Salvador in 2015 and 2016, the U.S. 
Government accounted for the manner in which the earthquakes 
and subsequent natural disasters had a metastasizing impact on 
economic and social vulnerabilities across the country and 
their relation to growing levels of crime and violence.\29\
---------------------------------------------------------------------------
    \28\ Extension of the Designation of El Salvador for Temporary 
Protected Status and Automatic Extension of Employment Authorization 
Documentation for Salvadoran TPS Beneficiaries, 73 Fed. Reg. 57128, 
Oct. 1, 2008.
    \29\ See Federal Registrar notices: Extension of the Designation of 
El Salvador for Temporary Protected Status, 80 Fed. Reg. 893, Jan. 7, 
2015; Extension of the Designation of El Salvador for Temporary 
Protected Status, 81 Fed. Reg. 44645, July 8, 2016.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------
    The Obama administration designated Haiti for TPS in early 
2010, following a catastrophic January 12, 2010 earthquake that 
claimed 230,000 lives and displaced more than 1.5 million 
people.\30\ Given the widespread damage to infrastructure 
across Haiti, the significant cost and time required for 
rebuilding the country, and the impact of subsequent natural 
disasters, the U.S. Government extended the TPS designation for 
Haiti five times following the original designation in 
2010.\31\ In 2011, the U.S. Government redesignated Haiti for 
TPS and extended the existing TPS designation by underscoring 
the sheer magnitude of the destruction in the country: the 
death toll, the number of buildings destroyed, the subsequent 
outbreak of cholera, and the proliferation of camps for 
internally displaced persons (IDPs), which suffered outbreaks 
of disease, crime, and gender-based violence.\32\ By 2015, the 
Obama administration's justification for extending TPS not only 
included a description of the enduring challenges from the 2010 
earthquake, but also described the manner in which the 
earthquake had weakened governance and the rule of law in 
Haiti, created lasting damage to the country's food security, 
and exacerbated longstanding public health challenges.\33\
---------------------------------------------------------------------------
    \30\ Press Statement, Secretary John Kerry, Department of State, 
``Marking Five Years Since the 2010 Earthquake in Haiti,'' Jan. 9, 
2015, available at https://2009-2017.state.gov/secretary/remarks/2015/
01/235755.htm; Designation of Haiti for Temporary Protected Status, 75 
FR 3476, Jan. 21, 2010.
    \31\ See, e.g., Extension of the Designation of Haiti for Temporary 
Protected Status, 77 Fed. Reg. 59943, Oct. 1, 2012; Extension of the 
Designation of Haiti for Temporary Protected Status, 82 Fed. Reg. 
23830, May 24, 2017. See Annex 1 for a complete list of the original 
designation, the redesignation, and the extensions of the designation 
for TPS for Haiti.
    \32\ Extension and Redesignation of Haiti for Temporary Protected 
Status, 76 Fed. Reg. 29000, May 19, 2011.
    \33\ Extension of the Designation of Haiti for Temporary Protected 
Status, 80 Fed. Reg. 51582, Aug. 25, 2015.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------
    The Trump administration's six-month extension of TPS for 
Haiti in 2017 reflected a continuation of the traditional 
interpretation of the TPS statute, and documented how the 
earthquake had debilitated governance and created lasting 
conditions in which ``personal security is a serious and 
pervasive issue.'' \34\ The Trump administration's Haiti 
extension also recognized the impact of subsequent natural 
disasters, noting that ``[t]he damage from Hurricane Matthew 
[in October 2016] and the recent heavy rains are compounding 
the existing food insecurity experienced by an estimated 3.2 
million people (approximately 30 percent of the population).'' 
\35\
---------------------------------------------------------------------------
    \34\ Extension of the Designation of Haiti for Temporary Protected 
Status, 82 Fed. Reg. 23830, May 24, 2017.
    \35\ Id.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------

The Trump Administration Abandons Longstanding Precedent

    While the U.S. Government consistently had taken a holistic 
approach to evaluating the conditions in El Salvador, Honduras, 
and Haiti and justifying the repeated extension of the existing 
TPS designations, the Trump administration abandoned 
established precedent for comprehensively interpreting the TPS 
statute when it sought to terminate the three TPS programs in 
2018. The Trump administration's justifications for terminating 
TPS for all three countries no longer accounted for lasting 
damage caused by the initial natural disaster in each country, 
nor the manner in which longstanding economic, social, and 
security vulnerabilities have been aggravated by the enduring 
impact of the original crises.\36\ Furthermore, the 
justifications entirely ignored established concerns about the 
three countries' inability to safely receive tens of thousands 
of individuals back to their country.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------
    \36\ See Termination of the Designation of Honduras for Temporary 
Protected Status, 83 Fed. Reg. 26074, June 5, 2018; Termination of the 
Designation of El Salvador for Temporary Protected Status, 83 Fed. Reg. 
2654, Jan. 18, 2018; Termination of the Designation of Haiti for 
Temporary Protected Status, 83 Fed. Reg. 2648, Jan. 18, 2018.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------
    The Trump administration's move to terminate TPS for El 
Salvador and Haiti in January 2018 is currently facing 
litigation that was brought in October 2018, and the U.S. 
District Court for the Northern District of California 
subsequently enjoined DHS from enforcing the termination of TPS 
for both countries.\37\ Similarly, the Trump administration's 
termination of TPS for Honduras in June 2018 was met with a 
class action lawsuit in February 2019, which also led to an 
injunction prohibiting DHS from terminating the designation, 
pending the end of litigation.\38\
---------------------------------------------------------------------------
    \37\ See Annex 2; U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services, 
Temporary Protected Status, available at  https://www.uscis.gov/
humanitarian/temporary-protected-status (last visited Oct. 25, 2019).
    \38\ Id.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------
    On October 28, 2019, to comply with court orders in ongoing 
litigation, the Trump administration announced that it was 
``providing El Salvadorans with TPS an additional 365 days 
after the conclusion of the TPS-related lawsuits to repatriate 
back to their home country.'' \39\ In early November 2019, the 
administration made a similar announcement for Honduras and 
Haiti.\40\ These were not formal extensions of TPS designations 
for El Salvador, Honduras, and Haiti. Instead, they merely 
allowed TPS recipients additional time for work permits 
following the end of litigation.\41\ This move only further 
underscores the ad hoc manner in which the Trump administration 
interprets and applies TPS statute.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------
    \39\ Press Release, U.S. Department of Homeland Security, ``U.S. 
and El Salvador Sign Arrangements on Security & Information Sharing; 
Give Salvadorans with TPS More Time,'' Oct. 28, 2019.
    \40\ On November 4, 2019, USCIS published a notice in the Federal 
Registrar that continues the documentation of TPS recipients from El 
Salvador, Haiti, Honduras, Nepal, Nicaragua, and Sudan. Continuation of 
Documentation for Beneficiaries of Temporary Protected Status 
Designations for El Salvador, Haiti, Honduras, Nepal, Nicaragua, and 
Sudan, 84 Fed. Reg. 59403, Nov. 4, 2019.
    \41\ As Acting U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services Acting 
Director Ken Cuccinelli tweeted: ``A clarification: some reporting has 
spoken of `extending TPS.' That has important legal meaning, and that's 
not what happened w/ the agreements. Rather, work permits for 
Salvadorans will be extended for 1 year past resolution of litigation 
for an orderly wind down period.'' USCIS Acting Director Ken 
Cuccinelli, @USCISCuccinelli, Oct. 28, 2019, available at https://
twitter.com/USCISCuccinelli/status/1188862281737621509?s=20.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------

Conclusion

    Over the course of approximately twenty years in the cases 
of Honduras and El Salvador and over seven years in the case of 
Haiti, the U.S. Government developed ample precedent for 
interpreting TPS statute in a comprehensive manner that 
accounted for how initial natural disasters had exacerbated the 
countries' economic and social fragility. The U.S. Government 
repeatedly extended TPS based on conditions beyond the original 
destruction in each country, which often included recognition 
of damage caused by subsequent natural disasters. It also 
consistently emphasized that the inability of each country to 
safely receive back its citizens was an essential part of the 
justification for extending TPS for El Salvador, Honduras, and 
Haiti.
    Nevertheless, the Trump administration ignored this 
precedent and historical practice in an effort to terminate 
these TPS designations. In the subsequent chapters, this report 
will document how the Trump administration elevated political 
calculations over extensive warnings from senior State 
Department and U.S. Embassy officials about the potentially 
dire consequences of terminating TPS for El Salvador, Honduras, 
and Haiti.

                              CHAPTER TWO

                              ----------                              


  Ignoring the Alarm Bells: How the Trump Administration Disregarded 
     Repeated Warnings from the State Department and U.S. Embassies

        ``[I]t is our purpose to provide the best possible foreign 
        policy and diplomatic advice. From my point of view that advice 
        is obvious: extend TPS for the countries indicated.''

                      --Undersecretary of State Thomas Shannon \42\
---------------------------------------------------------------------------
    \42\ Shannon Memorandum at 2.


    In the autumn of 2017, Senate Foreign Relations Committee 
(SFRC) Democratic Staff initiated an investigation into the 
role that the U.S. Department of State played in the Trump 
administration's decision to terminate the TPS designations for 
El Salvador, Honduras, and Haiti.
    This investigation found that senior officials at all 
levels of the State Department--including the U.S. Embassies in 
the three affected countries, the Bureau of Western Hemisphere 
Affairs, the Bureau of Population, Refugees, and Migration, and 
the Undersecretary for Political Affairs--warned the Trump 
administration about the severe consequences of terminating TPS 
for El Salvador, Honduras, and Haiti. They repeatedly cautioned 
that terminating TPS for the three countries would have adverse 
implications for U.S. national security and likely would prompt 
a new wave of irregular migration to the United States. Senior 
diplomats also alerted the Trump administration that ending the 
TPS designations for El Salvador and Honduras would jeopardize 
the physical safety of TPS recipients, and any of their 
accompanying American citizen children, by sending them to 
countries where they would be vulnerable to criminal violence 
and gang recruitment. Despite these numerous warnings, then-
Secretary Tillerson recommended in October 2017 that then-
Acting DHS Secretary Elaine Duke terminate the TPS designations 
for El Salvador, Honduras, and Haiti.
    SFRC Democratic Staff also found that, in one alarming 
example, senior Trump administration appointees in the 
Secretary of State's Office of Policy Planning explicitly noted 
political considerations related to the 2020 presidential 
election in recommending the termination of TPS designations 
for El Salvador, Honduras, and Haiti. To the degree that 
Secretary Tillerson's final recommendation to terminate TPS for 
the three countries was based on the partisan policy guidance 
of his political advisors, the Trump administration elevated 
electoral concerns over considerations related to U.S. national 
security and the personal safety of nearly 400,000 TPS 
recipients and their estimated 273,000 U.S. citizen 
children.\43\
---------------------------------------------------------------------------
    \43\ The number of TPS recipients comes from data provided by USCIS 
to the Congressional Research Service. CRS, Temporary Protected Status: 
Overview and Current Issues, at 5, Table I. The number of TPS 
recipients' children comes from Warren & Kerwin, A Statistical and 
Demographic Profile of the US Temporary Protected Status Populations 
from El Salvador, Honduras, and Haiti, at 581.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------
    A review of the State Department internal documents and 
recommendations provides unique insight about the inherent 
contradictions in the Trump administration's decision-making 
process for TPS and the roles of various State Department 
offices and U.S. Embassies. It also illustrates how the 
countless warnings of senior diplomats were disregarded 
repeatedly in order to advance a decision that recklessly 
endangers U.S. national security and the safety of hundreds of 
thousands of men, women, and children.

The Contradictions of Secretary Tillerson's Recommendation

    Given the State Department's principal authority for the 
conduct of U.S. foreign policy and its preeminent expertise on 
the political, economic, and social conditions of countries 
around the world, the Secretary of State's recommendation is an 
essential component of the TPS decision-making process and 
directly informs the decision of the DHS Secretary.
    On October 31, 2017, Secretary Tillerson transmitted his 
formal recommendation to Acting DHS Secretary Duke on TPS for 
El Salvador, Honduras, and Haiti. In his letter, Tillerson 
asserted that the three countries ``no longer meet the 
conditions required for continued designation for Temporary 
Protected Status'' and that an 18-month period should be 
provided for the wind down of the program.\44\
---------------------------------------------------------------------------
    \44\ Letter from Rex Tillerson, Secretary of State, to Elaine Duke, 
Acting Secretary of Homeland Security (``Tillerson Letter''), at 1, 
Oct. 31, 2017. See Annex 3.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------
    However, the remaining content of Secretary Tillerson's 
letter and the accompanying State Department assessments on the 
three countries stood in such open contradiction to Tillerson's 
recommendation to DHS that it appears as if they were written 
with the intention to substantiate a decision to extend the 
three TPS designations rather than terminate them.\45\
---------------------------------------------------------------------------
    \45\ While this report focuses on the State Department's role in 
the termination of the TPS designations for El Salvador, Honduras, and 
Haiti, it is imperative to note that similarly disjointed memorandums 
and recommendations were found at DHS. In one instance related to the 
TPS designation for Sudan, an internal email from senior DHS official 
L. Francis Cissna stated, ``The memo reads like one person who strongly 
supports extending TPS for Sudan wrote everything up to the 
recommendation section, and then someone who opposes extension snuck up 
behind the first guy, clubbed him over the head, pushed his senseless 
body out of the way, and finished the memo.'' Nick Miroff, ``Government 
emails reveal internal debates over ending immigrant protections,'' The 
Washington Post, Aug. 23, 2018.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------
    For example, in his letter to DHS, Tillerson acknowledged 
that, ``[i]n the case of El Salvador and Honduras, both 
countries continue to have some of the world's highest homicide 
rates, and weak law enforcement capabilities and inadequate 
government services will make it difficult for their respective 
governments to ensure the protection of returning citizens--no 
less the U.S. citizen children who may accompany their 
parents.'' \46\ This statement makes it clear that Tillerson 
was fully aware of the risks to the personal safety of TPS 
recipients and their American children, even as he recommended 
terminating the three TPS designations to advance the Trump 
administration's immigration agenda.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------
    \46\ Tillerson Letter at 1.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------
    In the course of the same letter, Tillerson recognized that 
the ``[t]ermination of TPS will also likely generate a backlash 
from the governments themselves, particularly the Honduran and 
Salvadoran governments'' and that ``[t]hey may take retaliatory 
actions counter to our long-standing national security and 
economic interests like withdrawing their counternarcotics and 
anti-gang cooperation with the United States, reducing their 
willingness to accept the return of their citizens, or 
refraining from efforts to control illegal migration.'' \47\ As 
Tillerson openly acknowledged such severe risks, it is apparent 
that the Trump administration made national security 
considerations subordinate to its immigration agenda when it 
sought to terminate the three TPS designations.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------
    \47\ Id. at 1-2.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------
    Secretary Tillerson's October 31, 2017 letter to DHS was 
accompanied by a series of formal State Department assessments 
on the conditions in El Salvador, Honduras, and Haiti, which 
outlined the precarious conditions in each country and 
additional negative consequences that could stem from the 
decision to terminate the TPS designations. In the country 
assessment for El Salvador, the State Department warned that 
repatriating TPS beneficiaries would ``undermine U.S.-
Salvadoran efforts to combat TCOs [transnational criminal 
organizations]'' and ``likely drive increased illegal migration 
to the United States and the growth of MS-13 and similar 
gangs.'' \48\ This startling statement underscores that the 
Trump administration was fully aware that the decision to end 
the TPS designation for El Salvador would exacerbate the 
problems with criminal gangs and increase their membership, 
even as Tillerson recommended termination of the TPS program.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------
    \48\ Department of State Recommendation Regarding Temporary 
Protected Status (TPS) for El Salvador--2017, Enclosure to Tillerson 
Letter, at 6. See Annex 3.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------
    In the assessment for Honduras that accompanied Tillerson's 
letter, the State Department explicitly noted that ``many of 
the deportees [TPS recipients] would be accompanied by their 
U.S. born children, many of whom would be vulnerable to 
recruitment by gangs.'' \49\ This disturbing analysis shows 
that the State Department cautioned that ending the TPS 
designation for Honduras would leave American children 
vulnerable to the predatory recruitment practices of criminal 
gangs, such as MS-13, yet Tillerson still recommended 
terminating the TPS program. In the assessment for Haiti, the 
State Department acknowledged that terminating TPS ``would . . 
.  threaten the strides the Government of Haiti has made 
towards political stability.'' \50\
---------------------------------------------------------------------------
    \49\ Department of State Recommendation Regarding Temporary 
Protected Status (TPS) for Honduras--2017, Enclosure to Tillerson 
Letter, at 2. See Annex 3.
    \50\ Department of State Recommendation Regarding Temporary 
Protected Status (TPS) for Haiti--2017, Enclosure to Tillerson Letter, 
at 4. See Annex 3.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------
    Furthermore, in one extraordinary and outright 
contradiction, while Secretary Tillerson's letter recommended 
terminating TPS for El Salvador, Honduras, and Haiti in 18 
months, the three accompanying State Department country 
assessments recommended that DHS ``provide TPS benefits for . . 
.  36 months beyond the end of the current designation'' to 
allow for an orderly transition.\51\ The fact that the 
Secretary of State would transmit a formal package of 
recommendations to DHS with such disjointed and opposing points 
of view is yet another indication of how the Trump 
administration favored a predetermined political decision over 
the collective expertise of the State Department. It also 
alludes to internal disagreements in the State Department 
decision-making process and the countless warnings that the 
Trump administration received about the dangerous consequences 
of its course of action.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------
    \51\ See, e.g., Department of State Recommendation Regarding 
Temporary Protected Status (TPS) for El Salvador--2017, Enclosure to 
Tillerson Letter, at 6 (emphasis added).
---------------------------------------------------------------------------

The Secretary's Personal Staff Politicizes the Process

    On October 26, 2017, the State Department's Bureau of 
Western Hemisphere Affairs (WHA), Bureau of Population, 
Refugees, and Migration (PRM), and the Secretary's Office of 
Policy Planning (S/P) submitted a memorandum to Secretary 
Tillerson that outlined recommendations regarding the TPS 
designations for El Salvador, Honduras, and Haiti. This 
memorandum was the results of months of internal deliberations, 
negotiations, and attempts to forge consensus across the State 
Department, which was ultimately not attainable. In the October 
26, 2017 memorandum, PRM recommended extending TPS for the 
three countries.\52\ WHA and S/P, in contrast, jointly 
recommended ending the three TPS designations with a 36-month 
wind down period.\53\
---------------------------------------------------------------------------
    \52\ Memorandum from Simon Henshaw, Acting Assistant Secretary, 
Bureau of Population, Refugees, and Migration, and Francisco Palmieri, 
Acting Assistant Secretary, Bureau of Western Hemisphere Affairs, to 
Rex Tillerson (``Henshaw Memorandum''), Secretary of State, at 1-2, 
Oct. 26, 2017. See Annex 3.
    \53\ Id.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------
    Further, in a highly unusual bureaucratic maneuver that was 
not vetted by the rest of the State Department, the Secretary's 
personal staff in S/P dissented on its own joint recommendation 
with WHA and instead advocated that TPS be terminated more 
quickly.\54\ In attempting to justify this accelerated 
schedule, S/P stated that a 36-month delayed termination 
``would put the wind down of the program directly in the middle 
of the 2020 election cycle.'' \55\
---------------------------------------------------------------------------
    \54\ Id.
    \55\ Id.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------
    In making such an overt reference to the 2020 presidential 
race, senior Trump administration appointees reporting directly 
to the Secretary of State revealed that their recommendation to 
end TPS more quickly was based on political, not policy 
reasons. This recommendation effectively prioritized electoral 
calculations over considerations of U.S. national security, not 
to mention the personal safety of nearly 400,000 TPS recipients 
and their estimated 273,000 American children.
    In the October 26, 2017 memorandum, Trump administration 
appointees in S/P openly acknowledged that they were aware of 
the adverse consequences for U.S. national security, stating, 
``PRM and WHA, as well as Under Secretary Shannon in his 
separate note to you, accurately describe the negative 
political and foreign policy implications of terminating TPS 
for these countries.'' \56\ Nevertheless, such damaging 
consequences were ultimately subordinate to direction from the 
White House. As The Washington Post reported in May 2018, 
according to current and former officials, ``Trump senior 
adviser and immigration hard-liner Stephen Miller placed phone 
calls to DHS Chief of Staff Chad Wolf and top Tillerson 
advisers telling them to end TPS.'' \57\
---------------------------------------------------------------------------
    \56\ Henshaw Memorandum at 4.
    \57\ Nick Miroff et al., ``U.S. embassy cables warned against 
expelling 300,000 immigrants. Trump officials did it anyway,'' The 
Washington Post, May 8, 2018.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------

Disregard for the State Department's Top Career Diplomat

    Days prior to the Trump administration officials' efforts 
to politicize the State Department process, on October 23, 
2017, then-Undersecretary of State for Political Affairs Thomas 
Shannon submitted a private note to Secretary Tillerson on the 
foreign policy implications of the decision to end TPS for El 
Salvador, Honduras and Haiti. Undersecretary Shannon is a 
renowned expert in U.S.-Latin American relations and, at the 
time, was the State Department's highest-ranking career 
diplomat.\58\
---------------------------------------------------------------------------
    \58\ Although he has since resigned, Undersecretary Thomas Shannon 
previously served under Presidents Ronald Reagan, George H.W. Bush, 
Bill Clinton, George W. Bush, and Barack Obama. Throughout his 
distinguished career, he served as U.S. Ambassador to Brazil, Assistant 
Secretary of State for Western Hemisphere Affairs, and Senior Director 
for the Western Hemisphere in the National Security Council.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------
    Undersecretary Shannon's memorandum to Tillerson laid bare 
the potential pitfalls of terminating TPS for the three 
countries and made clear his personal recommendation to extend 
the TPS designations. Shannon stated that, ``a negative 
decision on TPS would undermine our larger purpose,'' which he 
wrote included ``our cooperation with these countries in 
addressing illegal migration, especially enhancing border 
security, attacking smuggling organizations, and improving 
repatriation capacity.'' \59\ Shannon also explicitly noted 
that ``the countries involved cannot manage a quick return of 
the more than 400,000 people covered by TPS.'' \60\
---------------------------------------------------------------------------
    \59\ Shannon Memorandum at 1.
    \60\ Id.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------
    At the end of his private memo to Tillerson, Undersecretary 
Shannon was unequivocal in his recommendation: ``[I]t is our 
purpose to provide the best possible foreign policy and 
diplomatic advice. From my point of view that advice is 
obvious: extend TPS for the countries indicated.'' \61\
---------------------------------------------------------------------------
    \61\ Id. at 2 (emphasis added).
---------------------------------------------------------------------------
    One year later, in November 2018, Foreign Policy published 
excerpts of an interview with Shannon, who had announced his 
resignation in February of that year. In this retrospective 
interview about the decision to end TPS for the three 
countries, Shannon told Foreign Policy, ``[It's] bad in terms 
of its human consequences, because it will lead to the largest 
forced removal of people in our history. But also, bad in terms 
of our foreign policy because it called into question our 
reliability as a partner with [these] countries . . .  that are 
now part of a larger migration crisis.'' \62\
---------------------------------------------------------------------------
    \62\ Robbie Gramer, ``How One Top Diplomat Took a Stand Against 
Trump's Immigration Policy,'' Foreign Policy, Nov. 23, 2018 (brackets 
in original).
---------------------------------------------------------------------------
    Undersecretary Shannon commented to Foreign Policy on the 
Trump administration's rationale for terminating TPS for all 
three countries by stating, ``[t]here was an effort made to 
politicize this process and to determine what got to the 
Secretary not based on the best thinking of our embassies and 
the Department, but on what we thought, in this instance, the 
White House wanted.'' \63\ According to Foreign Policy, Shannon 
confirmed that ending the program was a forgone conclusion--
``The decision had been made elsewhere. They were just trying 
to put into place the bureaucratic pieces.'' \64\
---------------------------------------------------------------------------
    \63\ Id.
    \64\ Id.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------
    While Shannon was the most senior official to oppose the 
Trump administration's final decision to terminate the three 
TPS designations, his concerns were shared by officials at all 
levels of the State Department and the U.S. Embassies in El 
Salvador, Honduras, and Haiti.

Overlooking the Expertise of the Bureau of Western Hemisphere Affairs 
        (WHA)

    In the October 26, 2017 memorandum to Tillerson, WHA 
jointly recommended with S/P to terminate the TPS designations 
for El Salvador, Honduras, and Haiti with a 36-month wind down 
period.\65\ As the State Department's bureau with unique 
expertise on Canada, Latin America, and the Caribbean, WHA 
offered numerous caveats and warnings about ending TPS.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------
    \65\ Henshaw Memorandum at 1-2.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------
    WHA repeatedly recommended an extended period for the wind 
down of TPS benefits, stating, ``a delayed effective date of 36 
months is necessary'' in order to permit an orderly transition 
process.\66\ WHA also asserted that a 36-month period was 
needed to ``prevent a negative impact on the national security 
interests of the United States'' and to ensure that the three 
countries could adequately prepare to receive and repatriate 
their citizens.\67\
---------------------------------------------------------------------------
    \66\ Id. at 3.
    \67\ Id.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------
    In addition to urging the delayed termination of the TPS 
programs, WHA cautioned about the adverse consequences of 
ending TPS for the three countries. As part of the October 26, 
2017 memorandum, WHA prepared a draft letter for Secretary 
Tillerson to send to DHS that asserted:


        Negative perceptions by populations in the TPS 
        countries of the United States and the administration 
        are likely to be intense and sustained, generating 
        significant pressure on national leaders to take 
        actions that run counter to our long-standing national 
        security interests and efforts to promote U.S. exports 
        in the region. The nations could withdraw their 
        counternarcotics and anti-gang cooperation with the 
        United States, reduce their willingness to accept our 
        return of their deported citizens, or refrain from 
        efforts to control illegal migration of their citizens 
        to our nation.
          Given the large number of beneficiaries from the 
        [three] countries, countries in the region and beyond 
        the hemisphere that seek to undermine our international 
        standing will find new fodder in our actions, likely 
        alleging we are acting inhumanely by sending their 
        citizens who have contributed to the American economy 
        and broader society to crime ridden countries bereft of 
        opportunities.\68\
---------------------------------------------------------------------------
    \68\ Terminating TPS, Attachment to Henshaw Memorandum (Tab 1) at 
2. See Annex 3.


    This blunt assessment by WHA underscored the far-reaching 
implications for U.S. foreign policy objectives. It recognized 
that terminating TPS would severely harm U.S. standing and 
credibility in the three countries, and increase the political 
cost for foreign government officials to collaborate with the 
United States. WHA's analysis warned that the decision to end 
TPS could undercut progress on the President's stated 
priorities, like combatting narcotics trafficking and 
transnational criminal gangs. Finally, at a time when the 
United States is seeing new competition in Latin America and 
the Caribbean from China and Russia, WHA's warnings 
acknowledged broader geopolitical and economic repercussions of 
the decision to end TPS for the three countries.\69\
---------------------------------------------------------------------------
    \69\ See John E. Herbst & Jason Marczak, Russia's Intervention in 
Venezuela: What's at Stake? Atlantic Council (Sept. 2019); see also 
Anabel Gonzalez, Latin America-China Trade and Investment Amid Global 
Tensions, Atlantic Council (Dec. 2018).
---------------------------------------------------------------------------
    Despite WHA senior officials presenting this alarming 
assessment and urging an extended period of 36 months for the 
wind down of the TPS programs, the Trump administration 
directly disregarded this advice and instead sought to 
terminate the TPS designations for El Salvador, Honduras, and 
Haiti with a shortened 18-month window.

Ignoring the Assessment of the Bureau of Population, Refugees, and 
        Migration (PRM)

    In stark contrast to the Trump administration's ultimate 
decision, PRM recommended that Secretary Tillerson call for the 
extension of the TPS designations for El Salvador and Honduras 
for another 18 months and for Haiti for 6 months.\70\ As the 
State Department's bureau with the greatest degree of subject 
matter expertise on migration-related issues, PRM was 
unequivocal in the October 26, 2017 memorandum to Tillerson.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------
    \70\ Henshaw Memorandum at 1.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------
    In the country conditions assessments included in the 
October 26, 2017 memorandum, PRM provided an in-depth analysis 
of the enduring challenges in each country that justified an 
extension of the TPS designations. PRM identified how repeated 
environmental disasters, including a crippling 2016 drought, 
accelerated widespread economic and security challenges across 
El Salvador.\71\ In its analysis that this combination of 
factors would undermine the Salvadoran government's ability to 
repatriate its nationals, PRM maintained that ``[e]xtending TPS 
for El Salvador is in the U.S. national interest.'' \72\
---------------------------------------------------------------------------
    \71\ Country Conditions Report for El Salvador, Attachment to 
Henshaw Memorandum (Tab 5), at 2. See Annex 3.
    \72\ Id. at 8.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------
    For Honduras, PRM detailed various environmental disasters 
and extreme weather events that have further debilitated the 
country since Hurricane Mitch struck in 1998, which have had a 
detrimental impact on social and economic development.\73\ 
Along with widespread security challenges, PRM assessed that 
conditions in Honduras ``render it temporarily unable to 
adequately handle the return of its nationals.'' \74\ In the 
case of Haiti, PRM described how the country had been 
continuously battered by subsequent natural disasters after the 
devastating 2010 earthquake, which overwhelmed the Haitian 
government's response capacity, contributed to ongoing housing 
shortages, and fueled precarious social conditions.\75\
---------------------------------------------------------------------------
    \73\ Country Conditions Report for Honduras, Attachment to Henshaw 
Memorandum (Tab 7), at 2. See Annex 3.
    \74\ Id.
    \75\ Country Conditions Report for Haiti, Attachment to Henshaw 
Memorandum (Tab 6), at 2. See Annex 3.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------
    Taken together, PRM assembled an expansive justification 
for extending the TPS designations for El Salvador, Honduras, 
and Haiti. PRM also compiled an array of information that would 
have been sufficient to meet the TPS program's statutory 
threshold of extraordinary and temporary conditions in a 
foreign country.\76\ Nevertheless, the Trump administration 
ignored PRM's advice and sought to end TPS for all three 
countries.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------
    \76\ See Annex 1 of this report for relevant excerpts of the TPS 
statute.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------

Rejecting the Recommendations of Ambassadors and Embassies

    As part of the review process for the three TPS 
designations, the U.S. Embassies in San Salvador, Tegucigalpa, 
and Port-au-Prince sent diplomatic cables containing their 
written assessments and recommendations. These cables, which 
were personally approved by the respective U.S. Ambassador or 
acting chief of mission in the three countries, were sent to 
senior Trump administration officials at the National Security 
Council (NSC), Department of State, and DHS. Given their 
presence in the countries, the embassies' first-hand knowledge 
of local conditions and analysis of foreign government capacity 
should have served as the foundation of U.S. Government 
decision-making related to the TPS designations, as 
historically had been the case.
    On June 29, 2017, the U.S. Embassy in Tegucigalpa, Honduras 
transmitted a diplomatic cable addressing the country's TPS 
designation. Evaluating the potential impact of ending TPS, 
U.S. Embassy Tegucigalpa offered an ominous warning to the NSC, 
State Department, and DHS--``adding tens of thousands of 
deportees to an economy that is not prepared to integrate them 
will only exacerbate the principal cause of irregular 
migration.'' \77\ The diplomatic cable also observed that 
``[g]iving the GOH [Government of Honduras] more time and space 
to improve conditions in Honduras is directly in the U.S. 
national interest.'' \78\ U.S. Embassy Tegucigalpa closed its 
diplomatic cable with an unambiguous message, stating, ``we 
recommend that TPS for Hondurans be renewed.'' \79\
---------------------------------------------------------------------------
    \77\ Cable No. 17 Tegucigalpa 618 from U.S. Embassy Tegucigalpa to 
Department of State Washington D.C. Headquarters, Honduras: Temporary 
Protected Status Recommendation (``Tegucigalpa Cable''), at 73, June 
29, 2017. See Annex 3.
    \78\ Id. at 75.
    \79\ Id.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------
    On July 7, 2017, the U.S. Embassy in San Salvador sent a 
diplomatic cable that offered a dire depiction of the likely 
consequences for ending TPS. In one instance, the embassy 
evaluated the risks to U.S. foreign policy objectives by noting 
that ``a termination of TPS could undermine U.S.-Salvadoran 
efforts on a range of issues of mutual concern and fighting 
transnational criminal organizations, such as MS-13.'' \80\ 
Additionally, U.S. Embassy San Salvador described the serious 
security and economic challenges that would be faced by 
Salvadoran TPS beneficiaries and potentially their U.S. citizen 
children, stating that ``[t]he lack of legitimate employment 
opportunities is likely to push some repatriated TPS 
recipients, or their younger family members, into the gangs or 
other illicit employment.'' \81\ Similar to the case of 
Honduras, U.S. Embassy San Salvador upheld that ``[e]xtending 
TPS for El Salvador is in the U.S. national interest'' and 
stated clearly, ``we recommend that TPS for El Salvador be 
renewed.'' \82\
---------------------------------------------------------------------------
    \80\ Cable No. 17 San Salvador 860 from U.S. Embassy San Salvador 
to Department of State Washington D.C. Headquarters, El Salvador: 
Temporary Protected Status Recommendation (``San Salvador Cable''), at 
24, July 7, 2017. See Annex 3.
    \81\ Id. at 21.
    \82\ Id. at 23-24.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------
    The U.S. Embassy in Port-au-Prince transmitted its 
diplomatic cable regarding the TPS designation for Haiti on 
August 3, 2017. In its cable to the NSC, State Department, and 
DHS, U.S. Embassy Port-au-Prince affirmed that Haiti ``lacks 
the adequate infrastructure, health, sanitation services, and 
emergency response capacity necessary to ensure the personal 
safety of a large number of TPS returnees.'' \83\ The embassy 
also noted the limited ability of the Haitian National Police 
to uphold security throughout the country.\84\ Given the risks 
to the safety of returning TPS recipients and the U.S. citizen 
children accompanying them, U.S. Embassy Port-au-Prince also 
emphasized that extending TPS is in the U.S. national 
interest.\85\ The diplomatic cable also closed by affirming, 
``we recommend that TPS for Haiti be renewed.'' \86\
---------------------------------------------------------------------------
    \83\ Cable No. 17 Port-au-Prince 2744 from U.S. Embassy Port-au-
Prince to Department of State Washington D.C. Headquarters, Haiti: 
Temporary Protected Status Recommendation (``Port-au-Prince Cable''), 
at 12, Aug. 3, 2017. See Annex 3.
    \84\ Id.
    \85\ Id. at 13.
    \86\ Id.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------
    Despite the three embassies having the most direct 
knowledge of respective country conditions, the Trump 
administration rejected the recommendations put forward by the 
U.S. Ambassadors and acting chiefs of missions at the U.S. 
Embassies in San Salvador, Tegucigalpa, and Port-au-Prince.

Conclusion

    Given the human dimension of a decision affecting nearly 
400,000 TPS beneficiaries and their estimated 273,000 American 
children, as well as the potential repercussions for U.S. 
national security, Secretary Tillerson's recommendation to DHS 
should have reflected the collective expertise of the State 
Department's diplomatic corps. Senate Foreign Relations 
Committee Democratic Staff found that senior officials at all 
levels of the State Department disagreed with nearly every 
element of the Trump administration's decision. In the end, the 
Trump administration directly disregarded the advice and 
warnings of senior diplomats and instead made a decision that 
was in line with the White House's immigration agenda and 
likely tainted by political calculations.

                             CHAPTER THREE

                              ----------                              


Endangering National Security: How the Trump Administration Jeopardized 
  Regional Stability and U.S. Efforts to Combat Drug Trafficking and 
                             Criminal Gangs

        ``[Central American leaders] may take retaliatory actions 
        counter to our long-standing national security and economic 
        interests like withdrawing their counternarcotics and anti-gang 
        cooperation with the United States, reducing their willingness 
        to accept the return of their deported citizens, or refraining 
        from efforts to control illegal migration.''

                            --Secretary of State Rex Tillerson \87\
---------------------------------------------------------------------------
    \87\ Tillerson Letter at 1-2.


    Instability, violence, and ineffective levels of the rule 
of law in El Salvador, Honduras, and Haiti have far-reaching 
consequences for the national security of the United States. 
Transnational criminal organizations, including narcotics 
traffickers and criminal gangs, such as MS-13, have taken 
advantage of fragile political and legal systems in Central 
America to perpetuate a range of illicit activities. In turn, 
approximately 90 percent of cocaine bound for the United States 
is trafficked through the Central American corridor.\88\ These 
activities simultaneously fuel and are compounded by high 
levels of societal violence and a lack of economic activities. 
Due to this confluence of factors, El Salvador and Honduras are 
leading source countries for irregular migration to the United 
States.\89\ In Haiti, endemic poverty and inequality, systemic 
corruption, and deeply deficient levels of democratic 
governance have contributed to levels of irregular migration 
that affect regional stability.\90\
---------------------------------------------------------------------------
    \88\ Congressional Research Service, U.S. Strategy for Engagement 
in Central America: Policy Issues for Congress, at 30, updated July 24, 
2019.
    \89\ Id. at Summary.
    \90\ Congressional Research Service, Haiti's Political and Economic 
Conditions, at 12, updated July 1, 2019.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------
    In order to address the implications stemming from these 
challenges, the United States Government invests significant 
levels of foreign assistance in a wide range of bilateral 
programs to uphold U.S. national security.\91\ The success of 
these programs in El Salvador, Honduras, and Haiti depends on 
the continued political will and cooperation of each country's 
government.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------
    \91\ Congressional Research Service, U.S. Strategy for Engagement 
in Central America: Policy Issues for Congress, at 12-16, updated July 
24, 2019; Congressional Research Service, Haiti's Political and 
Economic Conditions, at 8-10, updated July 1, 2019.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------
    In diplomatic cables sent to the NSC, State Department, and 
DHS, the U.S. Embassies in the three countries cautioned that 
ending the TPS programs would undercut the bilateral 
collaboration necessary to ensure the success of U.S. foreign 
assistance, leading to severe consequences for U.S. foreign 
policy objectives. In one instance, in the October 26, 2017 
memorandum to Secretary Tillerson, senior State Department 
officials noted:


        PRM [The Bureau of Population, Refugees, and Migration] 
        believes that the return [of] hundreds of thousands of 
        people would destabilize the region, causing 
        significant harm to U.S. foreign policy and national 
        security interests. [The Bureau of Western Hemisphere 
        Affairs] concurs with PRM's assessment of potential 
        harm to U.S. foreign policy and national security.\92\
---------------------------------------------------------------------------
    \92\ Henshaw Memorandum at 3. In its October 28, 2019 announcement 
on El Salvador, DHS openly acknowledged the risks to regional 
stability, stating ``a sudden inflow of 250,000 individuals to El 
Salvador could spark another mass migration to the U.S. and 
reinvigorate the crisis at the southern border.'' Press Release, U.S. 
Department of Homeland Security, ``U.S. and El Salvador Sign 
Arrangements on Security & Information Sharing; Give Salvadorans with 
TPS More Time,'' Oct. 28, 2019. This public recognition of the risks of 
mass deportation further strengthens the legitimacy of the arguments 
put forward by senior officials at all levels of the State Department 
and the three U.S. Embassies in 2019.


    Despite these dire assessments by senior officials at the 
State Department and U.S. Embassies in each of the three 
countries, the Trump administration discarded their warnings 
and sought to terminate the TPS designations for El Salvador, 
Honduras, and Haiti in 2017 and 2018.
    Additionally, while this chapter provides insight on how 
the Trump administration knowingly overlooked risks to U.S. 
national security when seeking to end the three TPS programs, 
subsequent administration actions have further complicated the 
impact of these decisions. In March 2019, the Trump 
administration cut and later reprogrammed hundreds of millions 
of dollars in U.S. foreign assistance to El Salvador and 
Honduras.\93\ These funds were appropriated by Congress to 
support programs to combat transnational criminal 
organizations, strengthen the rule of law, and advance economic 
development, as well as expand the government's capacity to 
repatriate citizens returning from the United States.\94\ The 
Trump administration's decision to cut these funds increases 
the likelihood that the return of over 330,000 TPS recipients 
to El Salvador and Honduras would have a destabilizing impact 
on both countries, in turn, creating collateral damage to U.S. 
national security interests.\95\
---------------------------------------------------------------------------
    \93\ Congressional Research Service, U.S. Strategy for Engagement 
in Central America: Policy Issues for Congress, at 2, 19-20, updated 
July 24, 2019.
    \94\ Id. at 6-12.
    \95\ The number of TPS recipients comes from data provided by USCIS 
to the Congressional Research Service. CRS, Temporary Protected Status: 
Overview and Current Issues, at 5, Table I.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------

U.S. National Security Interests in El Salvador, Honduras, and Haiti

    Weak rule of law in El Salvador, Honduras, and Haiti has 
been exploited by transnational and domestic criminal actors 
engaged in drug trafficking, violent crime, extortion, 
corruption, and a wide range of illicit activities. This 
prevalence of violence and crime has direct implications for 
U.S. national security and the stability of Central America and 
the Caribbean.
    According to the State Department's 2019 International 
Narcotics Control Strategy Report, El Salvador and Honduras are 
transit countries for illicit narcotics originating from source 
countries in South America and destined for the United 
States.\96\ This position as transit countries for illicit 
drugs bound for the United States makes El Salvador and 
Honduras susceptible to escalating homicides and generalized 
crime.\97\ In 2016, the year before the Trump administration 
sought to terminate the TPS designation for El Salvador, the 
country posted a homicide rate of 81 per 100,000 people--the 
highest in the Western hemisphere.\98\ Moreover, El Salvador 
suffers the expansive presence of criminal gangs, such as MS-13 
and the 18th Street gang, with estimates reaching 65,000 active 
gang members.\99\
---------------------------------------------------------------------------
    \96\ U.S. Department of State, International Narcotics Control 
Strategy Report, at 163, 181, Mar. 2019.
    \97\ Congressional Research Service, El Salvador: Background and 
U.S. Relations, at 6, 25, updated Aug. 14, 2019; Congressional Research 
Service, Honduras: Background and U.S. Relations, at 9, updated July 
22, 2019.
    \98\ InSight Crime, ``InSight Crime's 2016 Homicide Round-up,'' 
Jan. 16, 2017, available at https://www.insightcrime.org/news/analysis/
insight-crime-2016-homicide-round-up/ (last visited Oct. 25, 2019)
    \99\ Sofia Martinez, ``Today's Migrant Flow is Different,'' The 
Atlantic, June 28, 2018.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------
    In Honduras, transnational criminal organizations have 
penetrated state institutions to the degree that the government 
has purged 5,000 personnel from the Honduran National Police in 
recent years.\100\ A series of high profile corruption 
investigations during the same time period have implicated the 
family members and close professional contacts of officials at 
the highest levels of the Honduran Government.\101\
---------------------------------------------------------------------------
    \100\ The Wilson Center, Policy Reform in Honduras: The Role of the 
Special Purge and Transformation Commission, at 23 (June 2019).
    \101\ Jeff Ernst & David C. Adams, ``Jury finds `Tony' Hernandez, 
brother of Honduran president, guilty of drug trafficking,'' Univision, 
Oct. 18, 2019.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------
    In the Caribbean, Haiti remains a transit point for cocaine 
originating in South America, which crosses the country's 
porous borders en route to the United States and other 
markets.\102\ Furthermore, as in El Salvador and Honduras, 
Haiti's suffers from a weak judicial system, which impedes its 
ability to effectively prosecute drug traffickers or money 
launderers.\103\
---------------------------------------------------------------------------
    \102\ U.S. Department of State, International Narcotics Control 
Strategy Report, at 177, Mar. 2019.
    \103\ Congressional Research Service, Haiti's Political and 
Economic Conditions, at 11, updated July 1, 2019.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------
    Combined with precarious social and economic conditions, 
these alarming security statistics in El Salvador, Honduras, 
and Haiti have pushed tens of thousands of individuals to 
pursue irregular immigration to the United States.\104\ In 
response, the U.S. Government provides foreign assistance for a 
series of initiatives to increase security, political and 
economic stability, and the rule of law in the three countries. 
To that end, U.S. foreign policy toward Haiti is ``designed to 
foster the institutions and infrastructure necessary to achieve 
strong democratic foundations and meaningful poverty reduction 
through sustainable development.'' \105\ Priority areas include 
support for economic development, improved food security, and 
strengthening the Haitian National Police so that Haiti can be 
a stronger partner against transnational crime.\106\
---------------------------------------------------------------------------
    \104\ Congressional Research Service, U.S. Strategy for Engagement 
in Central America: Policy Issues for Congress, updated July 24, 2019; 
See also U.S. Customs and Border Protection, ``Southwest Border 
Migration FY 2019,'' updated October 29, 2019, available at https://
www.cbp.gov/newsroom/stats/sw-border-migration, updated Oct. 29, 2019.
    \105\ U.S. Department of State, U.S. Relations with Haiti, Fact 
Sheet, Mar. 16, 2019.
    \106\ Id.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------
    U.S. foreign policy in El Salvador and Honduras seeks to 
address the underlying factors driving irregular migration to 
the United States. These efforts include support for social and 
economic development initiatives so that Salvadorans and 
Hondurans can find opportunities in their own communities, as 
well as a wide array of programs to strengthen national legal 
systems, professionalize civilian police forces, counter 
transnational criminal organizations, and expand the capacity 
of democratic institutions.\107\
---------------------------------------------------------------------------
    \107\ Congressional Research Service, U.S. Strategy for Engagement 
in Central America: Policy Issues for Congress, at 6-12, updated July 
24, 2019.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------
    In 2017 and 2018, the Trump administration repeatedly 
offered public support for U.S. engagement in Central America 
as an initiative that ``protect[s] American citizens by 
addressing the security, governance, and economic drivers of 
illegal immigration and illicit trafficking, while increasing 
opportunities for U.S. and other businesses.'' \108\ In 2017, 
the Trump administration issued a statement on the Conference 
on Prosperity and Security in Central America saying that ``the 
United States views the security and prosperity of Central 
America as key to regional stability and to the security of the 
United States.'' \109\
---------------------------------------------------------------------------
    \108\ U.S. Department of State, U.S. Programs and Engagement 
Promote a Prosperous, Secure, and Well-Governed Central America, June 
2018, available at https://www.state.gov/wp-content/uploads/2018/12/
U.S.-Programs-and-Engagement-Promote-a-Prosperous-Secure-and-Well-
Governed-Central-America.pdf.
    \109\ Press Release, The White House, ``White House Statement on 
the Conference on Prosperity and Security in Central America,'' June 
15, 2017, available at https://gt.usembassy.gov/white-house-statement-
conference-prosperity-security-central-america.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------

Ending TPS: A Self-Inflicted Wound to U.S. National Security

    Despite the stated aims of U.S. foreign policy towards El 
Salvador, Honduras, and Haiti, the Trump administration sought 
to end TPS for the three countries over the repeated warnings 
of senior U.S. diplomats. Officials at all levels of the State 
Department and U.S. Embassies in the three countries directly 
informed Secretary Tillerson that ending the TPS programs would 
undermine the productive partnerships that the United States 
needs to advance its national security.
    In the October 26, 2017 memorandum to Tillerson, WHA and 
PRM detailed how ending the TPS for El Salvador and Honduras 
would jeopardize U.S. foreign policy by stating:


        A DHS decision to terminate TPS is likely to generate a 
        backlash from the Honduran and Salvadoran governments 
        who, together with Guatemala, committed $5.4 billion 
        from 2016 to 2017 to implement reforms [ . . . ] to 
        address the conditions driving illegal immigration from 
        their countries to the United States. Negative 
        reactions by [their] citizens could generate 
        significant pressure on government leaders to take 
        actions that run counter to the $2 billion U.S. 
        strategy in Central America, which addresses the 
        security, governance, and economic drivers of illegal 
        immigration and illicit trafficking. A DHS decision to 
        terminate TPS could also cause the governments to 
        reduce their counternarcotics and anti-gang cooperation 
        with the United States and stop combatting human-
        smuggling and discouraging their citizens from 
        illegally immigrating to the United States. Progress in 
        all of these areas is critical to the administration's 
        national security goals at the Southwest border.\110\
---------------------------------------------------------------------------
    \110\ PRM and WHA Assessment of the Foreign Policy Implications, 
Attachment to Henshaw Memorandum (Tab 4). See Annex 3.


    With regard to Haiti, WHA and PRM also documented the 
implications of terminating the country's TPS designation, 
---------------------------------------------------------------------------
noting:


        A DHS termination of TPS would also jeopardize the 
        progress made in developing a more secure, stable, and 
        self-sufficient Haiti. [ . . . ] Haitians who are 
        returned to a country that is not yet able to ensure 
        their safe reintegration and provide economic 
        opportunities would further incentivize illegal 
        immigration. [ . . . ] To this end, such an irregular 
        flow of Haitian migrants through the region [of Latin 
        America and the Caribbean], similar to what was seen in 
        2016, could threaten the progress made on the U.S. 
        strategy in Central America, and the efforts we have 
        made to further secure our southern and northern 
        borders.\111\
---------------------------------------------------------------------------
    \111\ Id.


    With these frank assessments, WHA and PRM provided 
Tillerson with a clear understanding of the potential damage to 
U.S. national security equities in the three countries. WHA and 
PRM identified how ending TPS and stripping humanitarian 
protections from nearly 400,000 individuals would generate 
multifaceted consequences that would touch on nearly all 
aspects of U.S. foreign policy, including undermining U.S. 
foreign assistance directed to programs related to security, 
governance, and economic issues. Furthermore, WHA and PRM 
underscored that ending TPS would have negative implications 
for the Trump administration's stated foreign policy 
priorities, including addressing irregular migration, drug 
trafficking and criminal gangs.
    The State Department's concerns over the adverse effects of 
ending the three TPS designations were so significant that 
Tillerson's October 31, 2017 letter to DHS was accompanied by 
three country assessments that detailed the potential risks. In 
the assessment for El Salvador, the State Department informed 
DHS that:


        El Salvador is a consistent partner of the United 
        States in working to combat illegal immigration and 
        transnational organized criminal organizations. The 
        Government of El Salvador has shown itself willing to 
        proactively address concerns related to illegal 
        immigration, investing time, money, and political 
        capital in trying to keep its citizens in El Salvador. 
        [ . . . ] If, however, the Government of El Salvador 
        were expected to immediately absorb 263,282 of its 
        citizens, its institutional capacity and willingness to 
        continue to be a receptive partner would diminish. In 
        addition, [ . . . ] the Salvadoran government would be 
        forced to dedicate all available resources to receiving 
        its nationals, undermining the medium- to longer-term 
        U.S. goals in El Salvador, which could lead to an 
        increase in illegal migration from El Salvador to the 
        United States.\112\
---------------------------------------------------------------------------
    \112\ Department of State Recommendation Regarding Temporary 
Protected Status (TPS) for El Salvador--2017, Enclosure to Tillerson 
Letter, at 4. While the State Department assessment on El Salvador 
stated that there were 263,282 Salvadoran TPS recipients, the official 
U.S. Government statistics on TPS recipients, compiled and maintained 
by USCIS, indicate that as of November 2018, the number of Salvadoran 
TPS recipients is 251,526. See data provided by USCIS to the 
Congressional Research Service. CRS, Temporary Protected Status: 
Overview and Current Issues, at 5, Table I.


    The State Department country assessment on Honduras 
provided specific details of the bilateral cooperation that 
would be at risk if the Trump administration ended TPS for the 
country. It documented that, ``U.S. engagement and programs [in 
Honduras] aim to dismantle transnational criminal 
organizations, combat drug trafficking, halt illegal 
immigration, and promote sustainable economic growth by 
addressing the underlying causes of insecurity, impunity, and 
lack of economic opportunity.'' \113\ The assessment also 
observed that, ``Honduras has been a collaborative extradition 
partner [ . . . ] Nearly 30 such indicted criminals now face 
justice in the United States for corruption, drug trafficking, 
and money laundering.''\114\ The State Department warned, 
``[i]f the Government of Honduras were expected to immediately 
receive and reintegrate 86,163 deportees and potentially their 
family members, it would likely cause a negative public 
reaction and strain the bilateral relationship.\115\
---------------------------------------------------------------------------
    \113\ Department of State Recommendation Regarding Temporary 
Protected Status (TPS) for Honduras--2017, Enclosure to Tillerson 
Letter, at 3.
    \114\ Id. at 4.
    \115\ Id. at 2. While the State Department assessment on Honduras 
stated that there were 86,163 Honduran TPS recipients, the official 
U.S. Government statistics on TPS recipients, compiled and maintained 
by USCIS, indicate that as of November 2018, the number of Honduran TPS 
recipients is 80,633. See data provided by USCIS to the Congressional 
Research Service. CRS, Temporary Protected Status: Overview and Current 
Issues, at 5, Table I.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------
    The country assessment on Haiti that accompanied 
Tillerson's letter to DHS offered similarly frank observations, 
including that, ``[w]hile the Haitian government has 
exemplified its commitment to remain a cooperative partner of 
the United States, an abrupt DHS termination of TPS benefits 
for Haitian beneficiaries would jeopardize this progress.'' 
\116\ The State Department also informed DHS that, ``[i]t would 
also threaten the strides the Government of Haiti has made 
towards political stability.'' \117\
---------------------------------------------------------------------------
    \116\ Department of State Recommendation Regarding Temporary 
Protected Status (TPS) for Haiti--2017, Enclosure to Tillerson Letter, 
at 4, Oct. 31, 2017.
    \117\ Id.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------
    The collective concerns of the State Department were also 
summarized by Undersecretary Thomas Shannon in his private 
memorandum to Tillerson. In advocating for an extension of TPS 
for El Salvador, Honduras, and Haiti, Shannon asserted that it 
``would not only continue the compassion and generosity that 
have underscored our approach to disaster and humanitarian 
assistance over time. It would also guarantee the necessary 
partnerships we have built with these countries and others in 
the struggle to promote safe and orderly migration, and fight 
the traffickers and criminal organizations that prey on the 
fears and aspirations of our neighbors.'' \118\
---------------------------------------------------------------------------
    \118\ Shannon Memorandum at 2.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------
    Across numerous documents, senior officials at the State 
Department and U.S. Embassies presented a holistic assessment 
of how terminating the TPS designations for the three countries 
would endanger a wide range of U.S. national security 
interests. Nevertheless, their analysis was discarded by the 
Trump administration. Although ending TPS for El Salvador, 
Honduras, and Haiti would cause major damage to U.S. foreign 
policy objectives, steps that the Trump administration took in 
March 2019 further complicate the impact of terminating the 
three TPS programs.

The Collateral Damage of Suspending U.S. Foreign Assistance

    In response to security, governance, and migration 
challenges in the Northern Triangle of Central America, the 
U.S. Government has invested significant financial resources to 
advance its national security interests in the region.\119\ In 
2014, the administration of President Barack Obama developed a 
long-term strategy that would combat illicit trafficking and 
violence and advance economic and social inclusion in the 
Northern Triangle.\120\ The policy also included initiatives to 
strengthen governance, justice systems, and civilian law 
enforcement, as well as improve the capacity of migration 
agencies in order to facilitate the safe and orderly 
repatriation of their citizens.\121\ These efforts--known as 
the U.S. Strategy for Engagement in Central America--became a 
multi-year U.S. government plan that has received repeated 
Congressional support, with the U.S. Congress appropriating 
nearly $2.6 billion since FY2016.\122\
---------------------------------------------------------------------------
    \119\ El Salvador, Guatemala, and Honduras constitute the region in 
Central America known as the Northern Triangle.
    \120\ President Barack Obama, U.S. Strategy for Engagement in 
Central America, The White House, Mar. 16, 2015, available at https://
obamawhitehouse.archives.gov/sites/default/files/docs/central--
america--strategy.pdf.
    \121\ Id.
    \122\ Congressional Research Service, U.S. Strategy for Engagement 
in Central America: Policy Issues for Congress, at 12, updated July 24, 
2019.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------
    In March 2019, President Trump abruptly announced the 
suspension of U.S. foreign assistance to the three Northern 
Triangle countries in a move that appeared to blindside senior 
officials across the government.\123\ As details of the 
decision emerged in the ensuing weeks and months, the Trump 
administration confirmed that it cut and reprogrammed $404 
million in Congressionally appropriated funds directed for the 
three countries.\124\
---------------------------------------------------------------------------
    \123\ John Hudson & Karen DeYoung, ``Trump's aid cuts to Central 
America still undetermined despite announcement,'' Washington Post, 
Apr. 9, 2019.
    \124\ Congressional Research Service, U.S. Strategy for Engagement 
in Central America: Policy Issues for Congress, at 19-20, updated July 
24, 2019.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------
    By cutting U.S. foreign assistance to the Northern 
Triangle, President Trump and his administration drastically 
weakened the United States' capacity to address the alarming 
levels of criminal violence and social and economic factors 
prompting Salvadoran, Guatemalan, and Honduran citizens to flee 
their countries. Additionally, in reducing U.S. engagement, the 
Trump administration diminished its ability to improve the 
security conditions that will be faced by TPS recipients if 
they voluntarily return or are deported to their countries of 
origin, as well as any of their U.S. citizen children that 
accompany them. U.S. foreign assistance funds supported efforts 
that assist migrants--which would include TPS recipients--
returning to their home countries, including short-term 
reception services, such as food and transportation, renovating 
reception centers, and collecting data on returning migrants 
that are used to support their reintegration.\125\ Therefore, 
by cutting foreign assistance, the Trump administration reduced 
U.S. support to strengthen the capacity of the migration 
agencies in El Salvador and Honduras that are responsible for 
repatriation efforts and would need to ensure the personal 
safety of 332,159 Salvadoran and Honduran TPS recipients and 
their estimated 246,000 American children.\126\
---------------------------------------------------------------------------
    \125\ U.S. Government Accountability Office, Central America: USAID 
Assists Migrants Returning to their Home Countries, but Effectiveness 
of Reintegration Efforts Remains to Be Determined, at 7-9, Nov. 2018.
    \126\ The number of TPS recipients comes from data provided by 
USCIS to the Congressional Research Service. CRS, Temporary Protected 
Status: Overview and Current Issues. The number of TPS recipients' 
children comes from Warren & Kerwin, A Statistical and Demographic 
Profile of the US Temporary Protected Status Populations from El 
Salvador, Honduras, and Haiti, at 581.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------
    Although President Trump publicly criticized the 
effectiveness of U.S. foreign assistance when he announced the 
cuts, the State Department and U.S. Agency for International 
Development had consistently documented the progress achieved 
by U.S.-funded programs.\127\ During the Trump administration, 
the State Department submitted nine separate reports to 
Congress certifying that the Northern Triangle governments were 
meeting key benchmarks on security, governance, and economic 
development.\128\ Moreover, USAID--which administers a wide 
range of programs in the Northern Triangle--reported a 61 
percent decrease in homicides in El Salvador between 2015 and 
2017 in municipalities that received U.S. security 
assistance.\129\
---------------------------------------------------------------------------
    \127\ Julia Harte & Tim Reid, ``Trump cuts aid to Central American 
countries as migrant crisis deepens,'' Reuters, Mar. 30, 2019.
    \128\ Congressional Notifications from U.S. Department of State to 
the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, Aug. 25, 2017, Nov. 30, 2017, 
June 29, 2018, Sept. 4, 2018.
    \129\ Megan Specia, ``Trump Wants to Cut Aid to Central America. 
Here are Some of the Dozens of U.S.-Funded Programs,'' The New York 
Times, Apr. 2, 2019.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------
    While the Trump administration announced in October 2019 
that it would once again provide foreign assistance to the 
Northern Triangle, its decision to cut over $400 million in 
funds damaged U.S. national security interests and also 
undermined programs that had a proven track record of improving 
security conditions.

Conclusion

    Despite repeated warnings from senior officials at all 
levels of the State Department and U.S. Embassies in the three 
countries, the Trump administration sought to terminate the TPS 
designations for El Salvador, Honduras, and Haiti with the full 
awareness of the severity of the consequences for regional 
stability and U.S. national security. Disturbingly, the Trump 
administration knowingly moved to end the three TPS 
designations regardless of analysis that the decisions would 
undermine its own stated foreign policy priorities of 
combatting drug trafficking, countering criminal gangs, and 
reducing irregular migration to the United States.
    The Trump administration's decision to cut $400 million in 
foreign assistance to the Northern Triangle compounds the 
catastrophic impact of the decision to end TPS for El Salvador, 
Honduras, and Haiti. Moreover, with these cuts, the Trump 
administration fueled the potential for a new humanitarian 
crisis in Latin America and the Caribbean, one that will 
jeopardize the physical safety and well-being of TPS 
beneficiaries and their American children.

                              CHAPTER FOUR

                              ----------                              


  Harming American Families: How the Trump Administration Exposed TPS 
Recipients and American Citizen Children to Crime, Violence, and Family 
                               Separation

        ``In the case of El Salvador and Honduras, both countries 
        continue to have some of the world's highest homicide rates, 
        and weak law enforcement capabilities and inadequate government 
        services will make it difficult for their respective 
        governments to ensure the protection of returning citizens--no 
        less the U.S. citizen children who may accompany their 
        parents.''

                           --Secretary of State Rex Tillerson \130\
---------------------------------------------------------------------------
    \130\ Tillerson Letter at 1.


    Throughout the course of its investigation, the Senate 
Foreign Relations Committee Democratic Staff found that 
officials at all levels of the State Department repeatedly 
warned the Trump administration about the widespread violence 
and crime that TPS recipients would face if they return to 
their countries of origin. Senior State Department and U.S. 
embassy officials also raised numerous concerns about the 
dangers that the American children of TPS recipients would be 
subject to if they accompanied their parents to El Salvador, 
Honduras, and Haiti. Among the most disturbing warnings, these 
officials alerted the Trump administration that U.S. citizen 
children accompanying their TPS recipient parents to El 
Salvador and Honduras would be vulnerable to recruitment by 
criminal gangs, such as MS-13.
    Given the perilous security, social, and economic 
conditions in El Salvador, Honduras, and Haiti, many TPS 
recipients would face the harrowing decision of leaving their 
American children in the United States.\131\ The result of such 
decisions would amount to the de facto forced separation of 
American families, with potentially hundreds of thousands of 
U.S. citizen children separated from their TPS recipient 
parents.\132\ The potential exists that far more children would 
be separated from their parents due to the termination of TPS 
than has occurred to date under the Trump administration's 
``zero tolerance'' policy.\133\ This prevalence of de facto 
forced family separation would have a lasting and traumatizing 
impact on the lives of the U.S. citizen children of TPS 
recipients and would irreparably harm American families.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------
    \131\ Center for American Progress, ``How Ending TPS Will Hurt U.S. 
Citizen Children,'' Feb. 11, 2019, available at https://
www.americanprogress.org/issues/immigration/reports/2019/02/11/466022/
ending-tps-will-hurt-u-s-citizen-children/ (last visited Oct. 25, 
2019).
    \132\ There are an estimated 273,000 U.S. citizen children born to 
TPS recipients from El Salvador, Honduras, and Haiti. Warren & Kerwin, 
A Statistical and Demographic Profile of the US Temporary Protected 
Status Populations from El Salvador, Honduras, and Haiti, at 581.
    \133\ As of October 24, 2019, there are 5,460 known cases of family 
separation caused by the Trump administration's ``zero tolerance'' 
policy. Elliot Spagat, ``Tally of children split at border tops 5,400 
in new count,'' Associated Press, Oct. 25, 2019.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------
    Senior State Department officials cautioned the Trump 
administration that many TPS recipients would remain in the 
United States without legal status rather than subject their 
American children to the crime and violence of their countries 
of origin or endure forced family separation.\134\ 
Additionally, State Department officials warned that in the 
event that a significant number of TPS recipients voluntarily 
return or are deported to El Salvador, Honduras, and Haiti, an 
influx of hundreds of thousands of TPS recipients would create 
a destabilizing effect that will likely result in a new surge 
of unauthorized immigration to the United States.\135\
---------------------------------------------------------------------------
    \134\ Henshaw Memorandum at 2.
    \135\ See, e.g., Country Conditions Report for El Salvador, 
Attachment to Henshaw Memorandum (Tab 5), at 7; see also Nick Miroff et 
al., ``U.S. embassy cables warned against expelling 300,000 immigrants. 
Trump officials did it anyway,'' The Washington Post, May 8, 2018.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------
    The Trump administration's decision to end the TPS 
designations for El Salvador, Haiti, and Honduras directly 
affects the legal status of 388,368 people--251,526 
Salvadorans, 80,633 Hondurans, and 56,209 Haitians.\136\ The 
majority of TPS recipients reside in California, Florida, 
Texas, New York, Virginia, Maryland, and New Jersey.\137\ Many, 
if not most, of these individuals have children who were born 
in the United States. There are an estimated 192,700 American 
children born to Salvadoran parents that are TPS recipients, as 
well as 53,500 and 27,000 U.S. citizen children born to 
Honduran and Haitian TPS recipients, respectively.\138\
---------------------------------------------------------------------------
    \136\ CRS, Temporary Protected Status: Overview and Current Issues, 
at 5, Table I.
    \137\ Id. at 12.
    \138\ Warren & Kerwin, A Statistical and Demographic Profile of the 
US Temporary Protected Status Populations from El Salvador, Honduras, 
and Haiti, at 581.

 
------------------------------------------------------------------------
                                           Estimated # of U.S.  Citizen
         Country                              Children Born to  TPS
                                                 Recipients \139\
------------------------------------------------------------------------
El Salvador                              192,700
Honduras                                 53,500
Haiti                                    27,000
  Total                                  273,200
------------------------------------------------------------------------
\139\ The number of TPS recipients' children comes from Warren & Kerwin,
  A Statistical and Demographic Profile of the US Temporary Protected
  Status Populations from El Salvador, Honduras, and Haiti, Journal on
  Migration and Human Security, at 581.


Endangering the Safety of TPS Recipients

    The Trump administration's decision to terminate the TPS 
designations for El Salvador, Honduras, and Haiti was done with 
full knowledge that TPS recipients who voluntarily return or 
are deported to the three countries upon termination of their 
status will face precarious social and economic conditions and 
elevated security risks given the alarming levels of violence 
that plague these countries. In particular, the Trump 
administration was warned that El Salvador and Honduras are 
marked by homicide rates that remain among the highest in the 
world outside a war zone.\140\
---------------------------------------------------------------------------
    \140\ See, e.g., Country Conditions Report for El Salvador, 
Attachment to Henshaw Memorandum (Tab 5), at 4.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------
    In his private October 23, 2017 memorandum to Secretary 
Tillerson, Undersecretary Thomas Shannon summed up the 
challenges that TPS recipients would face in their countries of 
origin:


        [M]any of those fleeing these events come from areas 
        that were either completely destroyed, or still suffer 
        damage. Significantly, many of these areas now face the 
        additional dangers generated by gang warfare, drug 
        trafficking, and the breakdown of state and social 
        institutions.\141\
---------------------------------------------------------------------------
    \141\ Shannon Memorandum at 2.


    The diplomatic cable from the U.S. Embassy in San Salvador 
to the NSC, State Department, and DHS underscored the dangerous 
conditions in the country, highlighting that ``El Salvador 
continues to suffer from serious security and economic 
challenges, and could not adequately handle the return of an 
additional 195,000 TPS beneficiaries and potentially their 
family members, including a significant number of American 
citizen children.'' \142\ U.S. Embassy San Salvador directly 
cautioned against returning TPS recipients at a time when El 
Salvador is facing increased levels of gang violence:
---------------------------------------------------------------------------
    \142\ San Salvador Cable at 22. While the original cable from U.S. 
Embassy San Salvador estimated that there were 195,000 Salvadoran TPS 
recipients, the official U.S. Government statistics on TPS recipients, 
compiled and maintained by USCIS, indicate that as of November 2018, 
the number of Salvadoran TPS recipients is 251,526. The number of TPS 
recipients comes from data provided by USCIS to the Congressional 
Research Service. CRS, Temporary Protected Status: Overview and Current 
Issues, at 5, Table I; San Salvador Cable at 21.


        The surge in gang violence in El Salvador, and other 
        gang-related crime drives internal displacement and 
        remains a major driver of immigration to the United 
        States. The Internal Displacement Monitoring Centre 
        estimates that nearly 220,000 Salvadorans were forced 
        to flee violence in 2016. This puts the country second 
        in terms of the number of new displacement relative to 
        population size, after Syria.\143\
---------------------------------------------------------------------------
    \143\ San Salvador Cable at 22.


    Similarly, for Honduras, U.S. Embassy Tegucigalpa's 
assessment expressed serious concerns about the security 
conditions in the country. The embassy's diplomatic cable noted 
that the security situation in Honduras is characterized by 
``extraordinary circumstances created by a combination of gang 
activity, drug trafficking, and poor economic conditions.'' 
\144\ U.S. Embassy Tegucigalpa explained in great detail that 
an additional factor preventing the Honduran Government from 
guaranteeing the protection of TPS recipients was the ``limited 
government presence in many parts of the country, including in 
coastal regions where many Hondurans with TPS previously 
resided and where transnational criminal organizations 
currently exert disproportionate influence.'' \145\
---------------------------------------------------------------------------
    \144\ Tegucigalpa Cable at 74.
    \145\ Id.


    In Haiti, according to the on-the-ground analysis provided 
by U.S. Embassy Port-au-Prince, there are challenges of weak 
law enforcement given that ``the HNP [Haitian National Police] 
remains highly concentrated in Port-au-Prince and has limited 
resources, challenging its ability to guarantee security 
throughout the country.'' \146\ The embassy also stated that 
Haiti ``lacks the adequate infrastructure, health, sanitation 
services, and emergency response capacity necessary to ensure 
the personal safety of a large number of TPS returnees.'' \147\
---------------------------------------------------------------------------
    \146\ Port-au-Prince Cable at 12.
    \147\ Id.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------
    In addition to the dire assessments from the three 
embassies, the State Department's Bureau of Population, 
Refugees, and Migration (PRM) also alerted Tillerson about the 
adverse consequences of terminating TPS for Salvadoran, 
Honduran, and Haitian nationals. Specifically, in the October 
26, 2017 memorandum to Tillerson, PRM underscored that, in the 
case of El Salvador, the termination of TPS would have severe 
repercussions and a destabilizing impact. PRM asserted that 
``[i]ntroducing an additional 263,282 working-age people and 
children vulnerable to recruitment by transnational criminal 
organizations (TCOs), such as MS-13, to a country rife with 
gangs and that cannot provide the 60,000 jobs required every 
year for its current population will undermine U.S.-Salvadoran 
efforts to combat TCOs.'' \148\
---------------------------------------------------------------------------
    \148\ Country Conditions Report for El Salvador, Attachment to 
Henshaw Memorandum (Tab 5), at 7. The original memorandum to Secretary 
Tillerson references ``263,282 working-age people and children.'' 
However, the official U.S. Government statistics on TPS recipients, 
compiled and maintained by USCIS, state that as of November 2018, the 
number of Salvadoran TPS recipients was 251,526. Estimates indicate 
that these 251,526 Salvadoran TPS recipients have approximately 192,700 
American citizen children. The number of TPS recipients comes from data 
provided by USCIS to the Congressional Research Service. CRS, Temporary 
Protected Status: Overview and Current Issues, at 5, Table I. The 
number of TPS recipients' children comes from Warren & Kerwin, A 
Statistical and Demographic Profile of the US Temporary Protected 
Status Populations from El Salvador, Honduras, and Haiti, at 581.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------
    Additionally, the high levels of violence in these 
countries directly affects the ability to conduct business and 
employ individuals. In particular, in its analysis for El 
Salvador, PRM highlighted that:


        Extortion of businesses drives up cost and discourages 
        investment. Business leaders assess that extortion 
        payments have tripled since 2013, with small businesses 
        paying approximately 10-20 percent of their income to 
        organized crime, while larger businesses face monthly 
        payments in the tens of thousands of dollars. The 
        [Salvadoran] Central Bank estimates that extortion fees 
        paid by businesses could amount to approximately $756 
        million--or almost 3 percent of GDP--though other 
        estimates are lower.\149\
---------------------------------------------------------------------------
    \149\ Country Conditions Report for El Salvador, Attachment to 
Henshaw Memorandum (Tab 5), at 5.


    In the case of Honduras, PRM assessed that ``although 
Honduras [has] been able to reduce its national homicide rate 
from 86 per 100,000 in 2011 to 58 per 100,000 in 2016, it 
continues to have one of the highest murder rates in the world 
for a country not at war.'' \150\ PRM also added that 
``[i]mpunity for all categories of crime, including serious 
offenses like murder and kidnapping is high.'' \151\ Given 
these circumstances, PRM concluded that the situation in 
Honduras ``continues to represent extraordinary circumstances 
created by a combination of gang activity, drug trafficking, 
and poor economic conditions.'' \152\
---------------------------------------------------------------------------
    \150\ Country Conditions Report for Honduras, Attachment to Henshaw 
Memorandum (Tab 7), at 5.
    \151\ Id.
    \152\ Id.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------
    Lastly, regarding Haiti, PRM noted that subsequent natural 
disasters following the 2010 earthquake had exacerbated 
existing social, economic, and security challenges on the 
island. Specifically, PRM asserted:


        With more than a half its total population living in 
        extreme poverty, Hurricane Matthew demonstrated Haiti's 
        weakened ability to cope, recover, and adapt to shocks 
        from natural disasters. This fragility was exposed 
        again most recently by Hurricane Irma, which 
        temporarily displaced over 10,000 people into shelters 
        and exacerbated an existing food security crisis on the 
        northern coast.\153\
---------------------------------------------------------------------------
    \153\ Country Conditions Report for Haiti, Attachment to Henshaw 
Memorandum (Tab 6), at 3.


    In addition, PRM stated that ``gender based violence in the 
IDP [internally displaced persons] areas remains a serious 
concern, and personal security is a serious and pervasive 
problem.'' \154\ Intensifying these challenges, PRM also 
emphasized that as the United Nations Stabilization Mission in 
Haiti continues to withdraw from the country, the Haitian 
National Police remains concentrated in Port-au-Prince with 
limited resources that impair its ability to guarantee security 
nationwide.\155\
---------------------------------------------------------------------------
    \154\ Id.
    \155\ Id.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------
    The Trump administration received repeated pointed warnings 
that TPS recipients would face challenging security and 
socioeconomic conditions. In the case of El Salvador and 
Honduras, senior State Department and U.S. Embassy officials 
signaled that TPS recipients would face alarming levels of 
criminal violence, including recruitment by criminal gangs, 
such as MS-13. Nevertheless, the Trump administration ignored 
the clear risks to TPS recipients' personal safety when it 
sought to end the TPS designations for El Salvador, Honduras, 
and Haiti.

Exposing American Children to Criminal Violence

    The Trump administration's decision to terminate TPS 
designations for El Salvador, Honduras, and Haiti will have a 
direct effect on an estimated 273,000 U.S. citizen children. 
TPS recipients who voluntarily depart the United States or are 
deported to their countries of origin upon termination of their 
status will have to decide whether to take their American 
children with them, knowing that they will face security risks 
and criminal violence present in the three countries. In 
particular, Salvadoran and Honduran TPS recipients that return 
with their U.S. citizen children--most of whom know no other 
country than the United States--will have to grapple with a 
series of detrimental factors that will affect these children 
for the rest of their lives.
    In recognition of these dangers, the U.S. Embassies in El 
Salvador and Honduras provided analysis that underscored the 
various risks and harmful effects that a termination of status 
would have for the American children born to TPS recipient 
parents. In one example, the diplomatic cable from U.S. Embassy 
San Salvador noted that ``parents in many communities in El 
Salvador fear that boys may be targeted for gang recruitment 
and girls may be forced into sexual relations with gang 
members.'' \156\ The cable stated that, as a result, ``many 
parents in El Salvador refuse to even send their children to 
school out of fear of the gangs.'' \157\ The embassy further 
documented that this situation is so prevalent, warning that:
---------------------------------------------------------------------------
    \156\ San Salvador Cable at 22.
    \157\ Id.


        The Salvadoran teacher's union on January 13 [2017] 
        reported that 60,000 students (or 5 percent of the 
        student population) did not register for the 2017 
        school year, most likely due to fear of gang 
        recruitment or that their children could be in danger 
        crossing the boundaries of gang territory. U.S.-born 
        American citizen children of TPS recipients would be 
        particularly vulnerable to security threats, as well as 
        challenges registering for basic services upon their 
        return to El Salvador.\158\
---------------------------------------------------------------------------
    \158\ Id.


    Similarly, in its joint memorandum to Tillerson, PRM also 
warned about risks to the safety and well-being of American 
children born to Salvadoran TPS recipient parents. PRM 
concluded that the high rate of homicide along with the lack of 
economic opportunities in El Salvador create ``a climate of 
fear and hopelessness.'' \159\ These are factors that force 
many parents in El Salvador to make difficult choices that 
affect the future of their children, which TPS recipients will 
also face if their U.S. citizen children accompany them.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------
    \159\ Country Conditions Report for El Salvador, Attachment to 
Henshaw Memorandum (Tab 5), at 4.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------
    In Honduras, where high levels of violence mirror those in 
El Salvador, PRM warned that ``impunity for all categories of 
crime, including serious offenses like murder and kidnapping, 
is high.'' \160\ Additionally, given such conditions, PRM 
underscored that ``many of the [TPS recipients] would be 
accompanied by their U.S.-born children, many of whom would be 
vulnerable to recruitment by gangs.'' \161\ As a result of the 
combination of high levels of violence and lack of 
accountability, TPS recipients and their U.S. citizen children 
will face serious threats to their physical safety and 
significant barriers to reintegrate into Honduran communities.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------
    \160\ Country Conditions Report for Honduras, Attachment to Henshaw 
Memorandum (Tab 7), at 5.
    \161\ Id. at 4.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------
    The Trump administration was acutely aware of the dangers 
that American children would encounter if they accompany TPS 
recipient parents to El Salvador and Honduras. As documented in 
Chapter Two of this report, Secretary Tillerson's October 31, 
2017 letter to DHS stated that in El Salvador and Honduras, 
``weak law enforcement capabilities and inadequate government 
services will make it difficult for their respective 
governments to ensure the protection of returning citizens--no 
less the U.S. citizen children who may accompany their 
parents.'' \162\ Despite this recognition, the Trump 
administration recklessly sought to terminate the TPS 
designations for El Salvador and Honduras with direct knowledge 
of the threats of criminal violence that American children 
would face if they accompany their TPS recipient parents to 
their countries of origin.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------
    \162\ Tillerson Letter at 1.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------

Separating American Families

    The Trump administration's decision to terminate the three 
TPS designations will inevitably result in the de facto forced 
separation of American families. Given the challenging 
security, social, and economic conditions in El Salvador, 
Honduras, and Haiti, a significant number of TPS recipient 
parents who voluntarily return or are deported to their country 
of origin will feel obligated to leave their American children 
in the United States. As a result, up to 273,000 U.S. citizen 
children could be separated from at least one of their 
parents.\163\ This prevalence of family separation will have 
long-lasting, severe consequences on American children.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------
    \163\ Center for American Progress, ``How Ending TPS Will Hurt 
U.S.-Citizen Children,'' Feb. 11, 2019. The number of TPS recipients' 
children comes from Warren & Kerwin, A Statistical and Demographic 
Profile of the US Temporary Protected Status Populations from El 
Salvador, Honduras, and Haiti, at 581.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------
    Due to the Trump administration policy of ``zero 
tolerance'' the U.S. government has been able to document the 
impact upon children of forced separation from their parents. 
In September 2019, the Office of the Inspector General at the 
U.S. Department of Health and Human Services Office (HHS OIG) 
published a report on the Trump administration's ``zero 
tolerance'' policy, under which, DHS forcibly separated 5,460 
immigrant children from their foreign national parents at the 
southwestern border of the United States, and placed them in 
detention, in some cases for months.'' \164\ This HHS OIG 
report explicitly stated that ``separated children exhibited 
more fear, feelings of abandonment, and post-traumatic stress 
than did children who are not separated.'' \165\ This report 
also highlighted that ``separated children experienced 
heightened feelings of anxiety and loss as a result of their 
unexpected separation from their parents after their arrival in 
the United States.'' \166\ In addition, the HHS OIG report 
documented that ``children who did not understand why they were 
separated from their parents suffered elevated levels of mental 
distress.'' \167\
---------------------------------------------------------------------------
    \164\ U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, Office of 
Inspector General, Care Provider Facilities Described Challenges 
Addressing Mental Health Needs of Children in HHS Custody, Sept. 2019. 
As of October 24, 2019, there are 5,460 known cases of family 
separation caused by the Trump administration's ``zero tolerance'' 
policy. Elliot Spagat, ``Tally of children split at border tops 5,400 
in new count,'' Associated Press, Oct. 25, 2019.
    \165\ U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, Office of 
Inspector General, Care Provider Facilities Described Challenges 
Addressing Mental Health Needs of Children in HHS Custody, at 10, Sept. 
2019.
    \166\ Id.
    \167\ Id.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------
    Although the HHS OIG report evaluated different 
circumstances--the ``zero tolerance'' policy separated foreign 
national children from their foreign national parents--the 
American children of TPS recipients would likely face many of 
the same traumatic consequences of family separation. The Trump 
administration's efforts to terminate the TPS designations for 
El Salvador, Honduras, and Haiti has the potential to prompt 
similar long-lasting consequences on U.S. citizen children born 
to TPS recipients. Prior to the HHS OIG report, the Center for 
American Progress (CAP) reviewed the repercussions of family 
separation for TPS recipients, which included analysis by the 
American Psychological Association that noted children 
separated from parents who are deported from the United States 
often show signs of trauma, such as depression, anxiety, 
frequent crying, difficulties in school, and disrupted eating 
and sleeping.\168\ According to the CAP report, these effects 
of persistent stress can affect a child for his or her future, 
resulting in challenges with learning, behavior, emotion 
regulation, and physical health.\169\
---------------------------------------------------------------------------
    \168\ See American Psychological Association Presidential Task 
Force on Immigration, Crossroads: The Psychology of Immigration in the 
New Century (2012), cited in Center for American Progress, ``Trump's 
Immigration Policies are Harming American Children,'' July 31, 2017, 
available at https://www.americanprogress.org/issues/early-childhood/
reports/2017/07/31/436377/trumps-immigration-policies-harming-american-
children/ (last visited Nov. 1, 2019).
    \169\ National Scientific Council on the Developing Child, 
Persistent Fear and Anxiety Can Affect Young Children's Learning and 
Development (2010), cited in Center for American Progress, ``Trump's 
Immigration Policies are Harming American Children,'' July 31, 2017, 
available at https://www.americanprogress.org/issues/early-childhood/
reports/2017/07/31/436377/trumps-immigration-policies-harming-american-
children/ (last visited Oct. 25, 2019).
---------------------------------------------------------------------------
    In its efforts to strip humanitarian protections from TPS 
recipients, the Trump administration made a decision that will 
lead to the separation of American families and would have 
adverse effects on the mental health and well-being of U.S. 
citizen children. Such consequences show the far-reaching 
impact of the Trump administration seeking to terminate the TPS 
designations for El Salvador, Honduras, and Haiti.

Accelerating Irregular Migration to the U.S.

    In warning about the multifaceted consequences of ending 
TPS for the three countries, senior State Department and U.S. 
Embassy officials informed the Trump administration that it 
risked undermining its own stated goal of reducing irregular 
migration to the United States. TPS recipients who voluntarily 
return or are deported to El Salvador, Honduras, or Haiti, will 
go back to countries where the government is not adequately 
prepared to receive them. Moreover, TPS recipients will be 
departing communities in the United States where they have 
lived and worked for extended periods and where many of them 
have U.S. citizen children, pay taxes, own homes and 
businesses, and employ American citizens.\170\ Given these 
factors, senior State Department and U.S. Embassy officials 
alerted the Trump administration that many TPS recipients would 
seek to return to the United States through irregular channels. 
These officials also warned that TPS recipients--who have 
garnered years of professional experience in the United 
States--would push current residents of the three countries to 
migrate, as they would be unable to sufficiently compete for 
jobs amidst the influx of repatriated individuals.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------
    \170\ Cecilia Menjivar, Temporary Protected Status in the United 
States: The Experiences of Honduran and Salvadoran Immigrants, 
University of Kansas, Executive Summary, May 2017.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------
    The U.S. Embassy in San Salvador highlighted that because 
El Salvador struggles with severe security, economic, 
environmental challenges, as well as inadequate government 
services to provide protection for their own citizens, 
introducing hundreds of thousands of additional individuals 
will likely accelerate irregular migration to the United 
States.\171\ In its diplomatic cable to the NSC, State 
Department, and DHS, U.S. Embassy San Salvador noted that ``El 
Salvador needs to create approximately 60,000 new jobs every 
year to meet the needs of its current population, yet was only 
able to create approximately 12,000 jobs in 2016.'' \172\ 
Consequently, the embassy assessed that prospects for work for 
returned TPS recipients would be scarce and they would have to 
compete with local residents for limited employment 
opportunities to support themselves and their families.\173\ 
These dynamics led PRM to advise Secretary Tillerson that ``the 
immediate return of a population of TPS Salvadoran nationals of 
the magnitude currently residing in the United States--which El 
Salvador is currently unable to adequately absorb or employ--
could intensify the push factors that drive illegal 
migration.'' \174\
---------------------------------------------------------------------------
    \171\ See San Salvador Cable at 21.
    \172\ Id.
    \173\ Id.
    \174\ Country Conditions Report for El Salvador, Attachment to 
Henshaw Memorandum (Tab 5), at 5.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------
    With regard to Honduras, PRM warned Tillerson that the 
return of 80,633 Hondurans who currently hold TPS ``could 
overwhelm the government's ability to properly reintegrate them 
and make it more likely they would attempt to return to the 
United States.'' \175\ In the case of Haiti, PRM cautioned 
Tillerson that the Haitian government's capacity for migrant 
reception is low, and that ``it would be very difficult for the 
Government of Haiti to absorb the approximately 58,706 Haitians 
currently residing in the United States under TPS in a short 
period of time.'' \176\ PRM concluded that:
---------------------------------------------------------------------------
    \175\ Country Conditions Report for Honduras, Attachment to Henshaw 
Memorandum (Tab 7), at 3.
    \176\ Country Conditions Report for Haiti, Attachment to Henshaw 
Memorandum (Tab 6), at 4. While the original memorandum to Secretary 
Tillerson referenced 58,706 Haitian TPS recipients, official U.S. 
Government statistics on TPS recipients are compiled and maintained by 
USCIS. USCIS statistics indicate that as of November 2018, the number 
of Haitian TPS recipients is 56,209. The number of TPS recipients comes 
from data provided by USCIS to the Congressional Research Service. CRS, 
Temporary Protected Status: Overview and Current Issues, at 5, Table I.


        An immediate DHS termination of benefits at this 
        juncture, when Haiti is focused on developing 
        opportunities that allow Haitians to stay and help 
        build their country, would have implications not only 
        for Haiti's stability, but for the region. Haitians who 
        are involuntarily returned to a country that is not yet 
        able to handle the influx of returns would further 
        incentivize illegal migration, to the United States and 
        other destinations.\177\
---------------------------------------------------------------------------
    \177\ Country Conditions Report for Haiti, Attachment to Henshaw 
Memorandum (Tab 6), at 6. Id.


    Thus, a potential massive irregular migration from Haiti 
and into other countries in Central America and other Caribbean 
countries, would strain the limited resources of those 
nations.\178\
---------------------------------------------------------------------------
    \178\ Id.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------
    As previously noted in Chapter Three of this report, to 
characterize the collective impact on Latin America and the 
Caribbean of returning nearly 400,000 TPS recipients to El 
Salvador, Honduras, and Haiti, PRM bluntly informed Tillerson 
that ``the return [of] over hundreds of thousands of people 
would destabilize the region, causing significant harm to U.S. 
foreign policy and national security interests.'' \179\
---------------------------------------------------------------------------
    \179\ Henshaw Memorandum at 3.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------

Conclusion

    Senior officials at all levels of the State Department and 
the three U.S. Embassies extensively documented the severity of 
the human consequences of terminating the TPS designations for 
El Salvador, Honduras, and Haiti. They explicitly warned that 
hundreds of thousands of TPS recipients and their U.S. citizen 
children would be vulnerable to recruitment by violent 
transnational criminal organizations, and that criminal gangs, 
such as MS-13, would be strengthened by expanding their 
membership. Additionally, these security risks would force many 
TPS recipients to leave their children in the United States, 
which would amount to a new wave of de facto forced family 
separation. Nevertheless, the Trump administration recklessly 
proceeded without regard for the potential impact on American 
families or the lives and safety of nearly 400,000 TPS 
recipients and their estimated 273,000 U.S. citizen children.
    Beyond the traumatic human impact of the decision, senior 
State Department and embassy officials also cautioned that 
ending the TPS designations for the three countries would 
likely set off a new wave of irregular migration in the region. 
The Trump administration still sought to terminate TPS at the 
potential expense of its own stated goal of addressing 
unauthorized immigration to the United States.

                      FINDINGS AND RECOMMENDATIONS

                              ----------                              


                           Principal Findings

    2020 Election Considerations Were Injected into the 
        Decision to End TPS for El Salvador, Honduras, and 
        Haiti. Trump administration political appointees in the 
        State Department Office of Policy Planning sought to 
        accelerate ending TPS to avoid hundreds of thousands of 
        TPS recipients losing their status during the height of 
        the 2020 election. Secretary of State Rex Tillerson's 
        staff thus put political concerns above the adverse 
        effects on U.S. national security and the personal 
        safety of nearly 400,000 TPS recipients and their 
        estimated 273,000 American children.\180\
---------------------------------------------------------------------------
    \180\ The number of TPS recipients comes from data provided by 
USCIS to the Congressional Research Service. CRS, Temporary Protected 
Status: Overview and Current Issues, at 5, Table I. The number of TPS 
recipients' children comes from Warren & Kerwin, A Statistical and 
Demographic Profile of the US Temporary Protected Status Populations 
from El Salvador, Honduras, and Haiti, at 581.

    The Trump Administration Intentionally Ignored Risks to 
        U.S. National Security Priorities. The Trump 
        administration sought to terminate TPS for El Salvador, 
        Honduras, and Haiti, despite the repeated warnings of 
        senior State Department officials that ending TPS could 
        endanger longstanding U.S. foreign policy objectives in 
        the three countries, including combatting drug 
        trafficking, countering violent criminal gangs, such as 
        MS-13, strengthening the rule of law, and tackling 
        obstacles to economic development. Advancing these 
        foreign policy priorities is essential to addressing 
        the underlying factors driving irregular migration to 
---------------------------------------------------------------------------
        the United States.

    Trump Administration Officials Knew that Ending TPS Would 
        Jeopardize U.S. Counternarcotics Cooperation and 
        Strengthen Criminal Gangs, Like MS-13. Secretary 
        Tillerson recommended terminating TPS despite 
        acknowledging that the ``[t]ermination of TPS will also 
        likely generate a backlash from the governments [ . . . 
        ], particularly the Honduran and Salvadoran 
        governments'' and that ``[t]hey may take retaliatory 
        actions counter to our long-standing national security 
        and economic interests like withdrawing their 
        counternarcotics and anti-gang cooperation.'' \181\ The 
        State Department also documented that returning TPS 
        recipients to El Salvador would leave them and their 
        accompanying American children vulnerable to 
        recruitment by transnational criminal organizations and 
        that it would fuel ``the growth of MS-13 and similar 
        gangs.'' \182\ The Trump administration ignored these 
        warnings.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------
    \181\ Tillerson Letter at 1.
    \182\ Country Conditions Report for El Salvador, Attachment to 
Henshaw Memorandum (Tab 5), at 7.

    The Trump Administration Was Aware that Ending TPS Would 
        Put the Personal Safety of nearly 400,000 TPS 
        Recipients at Risk. In 2017, the U.S. Embassies in El 
        Salvador, Honduras, and Haiti cautioned senior Trump 
        administration officials at the National Security 
        Council, State Department, and DHS that the three 
        governments would be unable to guarantee the safety of 
        repatriated TPS recipients. In El Salvador and 
        Honduras, senior diplomats alerted the Trump 
        administration that TPS recipients would be subject to 
        alarming levels of criminal violence and would fall 
        prey to drug traffickers and criminal gangs, such as 
        MS-13. Disturbingly, the Trump administration ignored 
---------------------------------------------------------------------------
        these risks.

    The Trump Administration Knew its Decision Would Expose 
        Thousands of American Children to Crime and Violence. A 
        State Department assessment of the country conditions 
        in Honduras warned that a large number of deported TPS 
        beneficiaries would be accompanied by their American 
        children, ``many of whom would be vulnerable to 
        recruitment by gangs.'' \183\ Recognizing that levels 
        of violence in El Salvador are among the highest 
        outside a war zone, the U.S. Embassy in San Salvador 
        cautioned that U.S.-citizen children would be pushed 
        ``into the gangs or other illicit employment.'' \184\ 
        Despite these risks to the safety of an estimated 
        273,000 American citizen children, the Trump 
        administration still sought to end the three TPS 
        designations.\185\
---------------------------------------------------------------------------
    \183\ Country Conditions Report for Honduras, Attachment to Henshaw 
Memorandum (Tab 7), at 4.
    \184\ San Salvador Cable at 21.
    \185\ The number of TPS recipients' children comes from Warren & 
Kerwin, A Statistical and Demographic Profile of the US Temporary 
Protected Status Populations from El Salvador, Honduras, and Haiti, at 
581.

    Terminating TPS for the Three Countries Would Lead to an 
        Unprecedented Wave of De Facto Forced Family 
        Separation. Given the widespread violence, crime, and 
        precarious social conditions present in the three 
        countries, hundreds of thousands of TPS recipients 
        would confront the decision of leaving their American 
        citizen children in the United States rather than 
        taking them to countries with dangerous security 
        conditions and limited economic and educational 
        opportunities. An estimated 273,000 U.S. citizen 
        children could face separation from one of their 
        parents as a result of the Trump administration's 
        decision to end the TPS designations for El Salvador, 
---------------------------------------------------------------------------
        Honduras and Haiti.

    The Trump Administration Intentionally Made a Decision that 
        Could Accelerate Irregular Migration to the United 
        States. Diplomatic cables from the U.S. Embassies in 
        San Salvador, Tegucigalpa, and Port-au-Prince and the 
        formal country assessments prepared by the State 
        Department for DHS explicitly and repeatedly warned 
        that deporting hundreds of thousands of TPS 
        beneficiaries to countries that were unable to handle 
        the influx of returns would incentivize a new wave of 
        unauthorized immigration to the United States. 
        Additionally, senior diplomats warned in writing that 
        TPS recipients would likely be unable to find economic 
        opportunities upon arriving in El Salvador, Honduras 
        and Haiti, and would likely seek to return to the 
        United States. Additionally, in his letter to DHS, 
        Secretary Tillerson warned that ending TPS for El 
        Salvador and Honduras could lead both governments to 
        take retaliatory actions, including ``refraining from 
        efforts to control illegal immigration.'' \186\
---------------------------------------------------------------------------
    \186\ Tillerson Letter at 2.

    Ending TPS Would Lead to a Deportation Campaign of a 
        Potentially Unprecedented Scale. The Trump 
        administration's move to end the TPS designations for 
        El Salvador, Haiti, and Honduras will strip 
        humanitarian protections and legal status from 388,368 
        foreign nationals currently residing lawfully in the 
        United States--251,526 Salvadorans, 80,633 Hondurans, 
        and 56,209 Hondurans.\187\ Deporting nearly 400,000 
        people would constitute one of the largest forced 
        removals of foreign nationals in the history of the 
        United States. Former Undersecretary of State Thomas 
        Shannon publicly expressed this concern after he 
        resigned from the State Department. The State 
        Department's Bureau of Population, Refugees, and 
        Migration (PRM) warned in writing that the magnitude of 
        these deportations ``would destabilize the region.'' 
        \188\
---------------------------------------------------------------------------
    \187\ The number of TPS recipients comes from data provided by 
USCIS to the Congressional Research Service. CRS, Temporary Protected 
Status: Overview and Current Issues, at 5, Table I.
    \188\ Henshaw Memorandum at 3.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------

                            Recommendations

 1. The Trump Administration Must Immediately Extend or Re-
        designate El Salvador, Honduras, and Haiti for TPS: 
        Although the Trump administration's attempts to end the 
        three TPS designations have been temporarily suspended 
        by the courts, DHS has the authority to immediately 
        provide a new 18-month extension to the TPS 
        designations for El Salvador, Honduras, and Haiti or to 
        re-designate the three countries for TPS due to the 
        temporary and extraordinary conditions present in each. 
        It is imperative that the Trump administration and DHS 
        take immediate action.\189\
---------------------------------------------------------------------------
    \189\ On October 28, 2019, the Trump Administration extended the 
work permits for Salvadoran TPS recipients until January 4, 2021 and 
one year beyond the end of current litigation related to the TPS 
designation for El Salvador. The Trump Administration made a similar 
announcement for Haiti, Honduras, Nepal, Nicaragua, and Sudan in early 
November 2019. The extension of work permits for TPS recipients confers 
legal residence in the United States during this period. It is not an 
extension of the TPS designation. See Chapter One.

 2. The Senate Must Pass the SECURE Act (S.879): Introduced in 
        March 2019, the Safe Environment from Countries Under 
        Repression and Emergency Act (SECURE Act) would allow 
        TPS recipients to apply for lawful permanent resident 
        status to obtain a green card if they meet certain 
        criteria, including passing all applicable criminal and 
        national security checks. The bill would protect TPS 
        recipients and TPS eligible individuals from El 
        Salvador, Honduras, and Haiti, as well as Nepal, 
        Nicaragua, Somalia, South Sudan, Sudan, Syria and 
        Yemen. It would also protect eligible individuals from 
        Guinea, Liberia, and Sierra Leone who were previously 
        designated for TPS or Deferred Enforced Departure. The 
        Senate should take up and pass this legislation, and 
---------------------------------------------------------------------------
        end the legal limbo and uncertainty of TPS recipients.

 3. Congress Must Reform Existing TPS Statute: The 
        investigation conducted by Senate Foreign Relations 
        Committee Democratic Staff revealed how Trump 
        administration officials were able to deliberately 
        discard the input of senior foreign policy 
        practitioners at the State Department and the on-the-
        ground assessments of U.S. Embassies in El Salvador, 
        Honduras, and Haiti. Congress must reform the existing 
        statutory framework for TPS to ensure future decisions 
        reflect objective analysis of existing country 
        conditions as documented by U.S. Embassies abroad. 
        Reform must incorporate and elevate considerations 
        related to U.S. foreign policy and national security 
        equities.

 4. The State Department OIG Should Investigate the 
        Department's Decision to End TPS: The State 
        Department's Office of the Inspector General (OIG) 
        should examine all the factors in the decision to end 
        TPS for El Salvador, Honduras, and Haiti, including an 
        assessment of the role electoral considerations played, 
        and State Department's communications with the White 
        House.

 5. The Trump Administration Must Fully Restore Foreign 
        Assistance for Central America: President Trump's March 
        2019 decision to cut and reprogram U.S. foreign 
        assistance funding approved by Congress for El 
        Salvador, Guatemala, and Honduras had severe 
        consequences for U.S. national security interests and 
        foreign policy objectives. U.S. foreign assistance to 
        these countries helps to address the underlying factors 
        driving irregular migration to the United States and to 
        strengthen the countries' capacity to safely repatriate 
        and reintegrate their citizens--objectives that would 
        benefit the future return of TPS recipients and any of 
        their American citizen children that accompany them. 
        The Trump administration must immediately reverse its 
        misguided decision and fully restore U.S. foreign 
        assistance to Central America.\190\
---------------------------------------------------------------------------
    \190\ On October 16, 2019, Secretary of State Mike Pompeo announced 
that the U.S. was restarting ``targeted U.S. foreign assistance'' for 
El Salvador, Guatemala, and Honduras. Media reports indicated that the 
funding covered by the announcement totals $143 million, a small 
percentage of the approximately $400 million in foreign assistance 
funding for Central America that the Trump Administration cut and 
reprogrammed in 2019. Press Statement, Secretary of State Mike Pompeo, 
Department of State, ``United States Resumes Targeted U.S. Foreign 
Assistance for El Salvador, Guatemala, and Honduras,'' Oct. 16, 2019, 
available at https://www.state.gov/united-states-resumes-targeted-u-s-
foreign-assistance-for-el-salvador-guatemala-and-honduras/; Nick 
Miroff, ``President Trump says he will unfreeze security aid to Central 
American countries,'' The Washington Post, Oct. 16, 2019; see also 
Chapter 3.

 6. Congress Must Pass Comprehensive Legislation on U.S. Policy 
        Towards Central America: The erratic nature of 
        President Trump's decisions regarding U.S. foreign 
        assistance for El Salvador, Guatemala, and Honduras, as 
        well as his administration's inconsistent policies 
        towards Central America, make it essential for Congress 
        to authorize a long-term approach to Central America. 
        This legislation must establish key foreign policy 
        priorities to address security, the rule of law, 
        democratic governance, and economic development 
        challenges; provide multi-year funding; require 
        progress by Central American governments; and identify 
        benchmarks to ensure the effectiveness of U.S. foreign 
---------------------------------------------------------------------------
        assistance.

 7. Congress Must Pass Legislation to Strengthen Asylum and 
        Migrations Systems in Latin America and the Caribbean: 
        Irregular migration has emerged as a major risk to 
        stability across Latin American and the Caribbean, and 
        a challenge for U.S. foreign policy. Given the Trump 
        administration's irresponsible approach to the 
        migration issues, Congress must pass legislation that 
        establishes key policy priorities, ensures ongoing 
        technical assistance to partner countries and 
        multilateral institutions, and provides multi-year 
        funding. Such an approach would also ensure greater 
        support for TPS recipients that return to their 
        countries of origin.

 8. GAO Must Fully Examine Politicization of the TPS Decision-
        Making Process: The Government Accountability Office 
        (GAO) is currently reviewing the process that led to 
        the Trump administration's decision to terminate the 
        TPS designations for El Salvador, Honduras, and Haiti. 
        This review must fully account for efforts by political 
        appointees in the White House, State Department, and 
        DHS to politicize the decision-making processes related 
        to the three TPS programs.

 9. The Senate Judiciary Committee and Senate Homeland Security 
        and Governmental Affairs Committee Should Investigate 
        Politicization of the TPS Process at DHS: As the 
        investigation of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee 
        Democratic Staff exclusively focused on politicization 
        of the TPS decision-making process at the State 
        Department, the appropriate committees of 
        jurisdiction--including the Senate Judiciary Committee 
        and Senate Homeland Security and Government Affairs 
        Committee--should review internal DHS deliberations for 
        inappropriate partisan influence as the Trump 
        administration sought to end the TPS designations for 
        El Salvador, Honduras, and Haiti.

                                ANNEX 1

                              ----------                              


                        TPS Statute and History

    This annex includes excerpts of the relevant portion of the 
TPS statute, as well as an overview of current and past TPS 
designations. The excerpt below covers the conditions for which 
the Secretary of Homeland Security can designate a country for 
TPS, as well as the statutory guidance for reviewing, 
extending, or terminating a TPS designation.

8 U.S.C. Sec. 1254a: \191\
---------------------------------------------------------------------------
    \191\ Under the Immigration and Nationality Act of 1990 (Pub. L. 
No. 101-649), the authority to designate a country for TPS was 
initially vested in the Attorney General. Following approval of the 
Homeland Security Act of 2002 (Pub. L. No. 107-296), this authority was 
transferred to the Secretary of Homeland Security.

           *       *       *       *       *       *       *

---------------------------------------------------------------------------
    (b)Designations
          (1) In general--
                  The Attorney General, after consultation with 
                appropriate agencies of the Government, may 
                designate any foreign state (or any part of 
                such foreign state) under this subsection only 
                if--
                  (A) the Attorney General finds that there is 
                an ongoing armed conflict within the state and, 
                due to such conflict, requiring the return of 
                aliens who are nationals of that state to that 
                state (or to the part of the state) would pose 
                a serious threat to their personal safety;
                  (B) the Attorney General finds that--
                          (i) there has been an earthquake, 
                        flood, drought, epidemic, or other 
                        environmental disaster in the state 
                        resulting in a substantial, but 
                        temporary, disruption of living 
                        conditions in the area affected,
                          (ii) the foreign state is unable, 
                        temporarily, to handle adequately the 
                        return to the state of aliens who are 
                        nationals of the state, and
                          (iii) the foreign state officially 
                        has requested designation under this 
                        subparagraph; or
                  (C) the Attorney General finds that there 
                exist extraordinary and temporary conditions in 
                the foreign state that prevent aliens who are 
                nationals of the state from returning to the 
                state in safety, unless the Attorney General 
                finds that permitting the aliens to remain 
                temporarily in the United States is contrary to 
                the national interest of the United States.

           *       *       *       *       *       *       *

          (2) Effective period of designation for foreign 
        states--
                  The designation of a foreign state (or part 
                of such foreign state) under paragraph (1) 
                shall--
                  (A) take effect upon the date of publication 
                of the designation under such paragraph, or 
                such later date as the Attorney General may 
                specify in the notice published under such 
                paragraph, and
                  (B) shall remain in effect until the 
                effective date of the termination of the 
                designation under paragraph (3)(B).
                  For purposes of this section, the initial 
                period of designation of a foreign state (or 
                part thereof) under paragraph (1) is the 
                period, specified by the Attorney General, of 
                not less than 6 months and not more than 18 
                months.
          (3) Periodic review, terminations, and extensions of 
        designations--
                  (A) Periodic review
                  At least 60 days before end of the initial 
                period of designation, and any extended period 
                of designation, of a foreign state (or part 
                thereof) under this section the Attorney 
                General, after consultation with appropriate 
                agencies of the Government, shall review the 
                conditions in the foreign state (or part of 
                such foreign state) for which a designation is 
                in effect under this subsection and shall 
                determine whether the conditions for such 
                designation under this subsection continue to 
                be met. The Attorney General shall provide on a 
                timely basis for the publication of notice of 
                each such determination (including the basis 
                for the determination, and, in the case of an 
                affirmative determination, the period of 
                extension of designation under subparagraph 
                (C)) in the Federal Register.
                  (B) Termination of designation
                  If the Attorney General determines under 
                subparagraph (A) that a foreign state (or part 
                of such foreign state) no longer continues to 
                meet the conditions for designation under 
                paragraph (1), the Attorney General shall 
                terminate the designation by publishing notice 
                in the Federal Register of the determination 
                under this subparagraph (including the basis 
                for the determination). Such termination is 
                effective in accordance with subsection (d)(3), 
                but shall not be effective earlier than 60 days 
                after the date the notice is published or, if 
                later, the expiration of the most recent 
                previous extension under subparagraph (C).
                  (C) Extension of designation
                  If the Attorney General does not determine 
                under subparagraph (A) that a foreign state (or 
                part of such foreign state) no longer meets the 
                conditions for designation under paragraph (1), 
                the period of designation of the foreign state 
                is extended for an additional period of 6 
                months (or, in the discretion of the Attorney 
                General, a period of 12 or 18 months).

           *       *       *       *       *       *       *

History of Temporary Protected Status Designations
    Since 1990, successive Democratic and Republican 
administrations have designated nearly two dozen different 
countries for TPS.
    As of October 15, 2019, ten countries are currently 
designated for TPS: El Salvador, Haiti, Honduras, Nepal, 
Nicaragua, Somalia, South Sudan, Sudan, Syria, and Yemen.\192\ 
The Trump administration has announced terminations for six of 
the ten. This diverse group of countries represents a range of 
conditions that justified a TPS designation, including armed 
conflict and natural disasters such as earthquakes and 
hurricanes. As of November 2018, approximately 417,341 foreign 
nationals from these ten countries currently were recipients of 
TPS.\193\ Among those countries currently designated for TPS, 
Somalia represents the longest standing designation, dating 
back to 1991 as the result of a protracted civil conflict and 
terrorism.\194\ Ongoing legal cases involving the termination 
of TPS for six countries have resulted in various U.S. district 
courts enjoining DHS from implementing and enforcing the Trump 
administration's decisions to terminate these TPS 
designations.\195\
---------------------------------------------------------------------------
    \192\ U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services, Temporary 
Protected Status, available at https://www.uscis.gov/humanitarian/
temporary-protected-status, (last visited Oct. 25, 2019).
    \193\ CRS, Temporary Protected Status: Overview and Current Issues, 
at 5, Table I.
    \194\ The Migration Policy Institute, ``Temporary Protected Status 
in the United States: A Grant of Humanitarian Relief that Is Less than 
Permanent,'' July 2, 2014.
    \195\ See Annex 2 of this report; U.S. Citizenship and Immigration 
Services, Temporary Protected Status, available at https://
www.uscis.gov/humanitarian/temporary-protected-status, (last visited 
Oct. 25, 2019).
---------------------------------------------------------------------------
    Thirteen countries or regions of countries previously were 
designated for TPS and subsequently had their designations 
expire, some more than once: Angola, Bosnia-Herzegovina, 
Burundi, El Salvador, Guinea, Guinea-Bissau, the Province of 
Kosovo, Kuwait, Lebanon, Liberia, Montserrat, Rwanda, and 
Sierra Leone.\196\ This group of countries similarly represents 
an array of conditions that merited a TPS designation, 
including armed conflict, epidemics, and natural disasters, 
such as volcanic eruptions. El Salvador was granted TPS by 
Congress through the Immigration Act of 1990, which later 
expired in 1992.\197\ El Salvador's 1990 designation marks the 
only time that a country has been granted TPS by Congress.\198\
---------------------------------------------------------------------------
    \196\ American Immigration Council, Temporary Protected Status: An 
Overview, at 3-4 (May 2019), available at https://
www.americanimmigrationcouncil.org/research/temporary-protected-status-
overview; The Migration Policy Institute, ``Temporary Protected Status 
in the United States: A Grant of Humanitarian Relief that Is Less than 
Permanent,'' July 2, 2014.
    \197\ Immigration and Nationality Act of 1990 (Pub. L. No. 101-
649); The Migration Policy Institute, ``Temporary Protected Status in 
the United States: A Grant of Humanitarian Relief that Is Less than 
Permanent,'' July 2, 2014, available at https://
www.migrationpolicy.org/article/temporary-protected-status-united-
states-grant-humanitarian-relief-less-permanent.
    \198\ The Migration Policy Institute, ``Temporary Protected Status 
in the United States: A Grant of Humanitarian Relief that Is Less than 
Permanent,'' July 2, 2014.





         HISTORY OF TPS DESIGNATIONS AND EXTENSIONS FOR HONDURAS
------------------------------------------------------------------------
      Designation/Extension Date             Federal Register Notice
------------------------------------------------------------------------
Original Designation, 01/05/1999        64 Fed. Reg. 524, Designating
First Extension, 05/11/2000             65 Fed. Reg. 30438, Extending
Second Extension, 05/08/2001            66 Fed. Reg. 23269, Extending
Third Extension, 05/03/2002             67 Fed. Reg. 22451, Extending
Fourth Extension, 05/05/2003            68 Fed. Reg. 23744, Extending
Fifth Extension, 11/03/2004             69 Fed. Reg. 64084, Extending
Sixth Extension, 03/31/2006             71 Fed. Reg. 16328, Extending
Seventh Extension, 05/29/2007           72 Fed. Reg. 29529, Extending
Eighth Extension, 10/01/2008            73 Fed. Reg. 57133, Extending
Ninth Extension, 05/05/2010             75 Fed. Reg. 24734, Extending
Tenth Extension, 11/04/2011             76 Fed. Reg. 68488, Extending
Eleventh Extension, 04/03/2013          78 Fed. Reg. 20123, Extending
Twelfth Extension, 10/16/2014           79 Fed. Reg. 62170, Extending
Thirteenth Extension, 05/16/2016        81 Fed. Reg. 30331, Extending
Fourteenth Extension, 12/15/2017        82 Fed. Reg. 59630, Extending
------------------------------------------------------------------------






       HISTORY OF TPS DESIGNATIONS AND EXTENSIONS FOR EL SALVADOR
------------------------------------------------------------------------
      Designation/Extension Date             Federal Register Notice
------------------------------------------------------------------------
Original Designation, 03/09/2001        66 Fed. Reg. 14214, Designating
First Extension, 07/11/2002             67 Fed. Reg. 46000, Extending
Second Extension, 07/16/2003            68 Fed. Reg. 42071, Extending
Third Extension, 01/07/2005             70 Fed. Reg. 1450, Extending
Fourth Extension, 06/15/2006            71 Fed. Reg. 34637, Extending
Fifth Extension, 08/21/2007             72 Fed. Reg. 46649, Extending
Sixth Extension, 10/01/2008             73 Fed. Reg. 57128, Extending
Seventh Extension, 03/09/2001           75 Fed. Reg. 39556, Extending
Eighth Extension, 07/09/2010            77 Fed. Reg. 1710, Extending
Ninth Extension, 05/30/2013             78 Fed. Reg. 32418, Extending
Tenth Extension, 01/07/2015             80 Fed. Reg. 893, Extending
Eleventh Extension, 07/08/2016          81 Fed. Reg. 44645, Extending
------------------------------------------------------------------------






          HISTORY OF TPS DESIGNATIONS AND EXTENSIONS FOR HAITI
------------------------------------------------------------------------
      Designation/Extension Date             Federal Register Notice
------------------------------------------------------------------------
Original Designation, 01/21/2010        75 Fed. Reg. 3476, Designating
Redesignation and First Extension,      76 Fed. Reg. 29000, Extending
  05/19/2011                             and Redesignating
Second Extension, 10/01/2012            77 Fed. Reg. 59943, Extending
Third Extension, 03/03/2014             79 Fed. Reg. 11808, Extending
Fourth Extension, 08/25/2015            80 Fed. Reg. 51582, Extending
Fifth Extension, 05/24/2017             82 Fed. Reg. 23830, Extending
------------------------------------------------------------------------


                                ANNEX 2

                              ----------                              


                         Current TPS Litigation

    In response to the Trump administration's decision to 
terminate Temporary Protected Status (TPS) designations for El 
Salvador, Honduras, and Haiti, there have been a number of 
legal challenges brought in the courts. A majority of these 
cases argue the termination was a politically-motivated 
decision that violates the Administrative Procedure Act and the 
constitutional rights of TPS recipients to due process and 
equal protection. Some lawsuits focus on the trauma that 
termination puts on TPS recipients and their U.S. citizen 
children, many of whom would be forced to choose between 
staying in the United States and following their parents to 
potentially dangerous environments.
    On October 3, 2018, the U.S. District Court for the 
Northern District of California granted a preliminary 
injunction in Ramos v. Nielsen to enjoin the termination of TPS 
for El Salvador, Haiti, Nicaragua, and Sudan.\199\ On March 12, 
2019, the parties in a separate case pending in the same court, 
Bhattarai v. Nielsen agreed upon a temporary injunction for the 
TPS programs for Nepal and Honduras pending the decision of 
Ramos.\200\ These temporary injunctions ensure that TPS will 
not be terminated before January 2, 2020 for recipients from El 
Salvador, Honduras, Haiti, Nicaragua, Nepal and Sudan (assuming 
government compliance and depending on a pending appeal in the 
Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals). \201\
---------------------------------------------------------------------------
    \199\ Ramos et al. v. Nielsen et al., 336 F. Supp.3d 1075 (N.D. 
Cal. 2018).
    \200\ Bhattarai et al. v. Nielsen et al., No. 3:19-cv-00731 (N.D. 
Cal. 2019).
    \201\ Continuation of Documentation for Beneficiaries of Temporary 
Protected Status Designations for Sudan, Nicaragua, Haiti, and El 
Salvador, 84 Fed. Reg. 7103, Mar. 1, 2019.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------
Current Litigation
    NAACP v. DHS.\202\ On January 23, 2018, the National 
Association for the Advancement of Colored People (NAACP) filed 
a lawsuit against the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) in 
the U.S. District Court for the District of Maryland 
challenging the decision to terminate the TPS program 
designation for Haiti. On April 16, 2018, an amended complaint 
was filed adding the Haitian Women for Haitian Refugees and 
Haitian Lawyers Association as additional plaintiffs.\203\ The 
plaintiffs allege, among other things, that DHS discriminated 
against Haitian TPS recipients on account of their race in 
violation of their constitutional right to due process and 
equal protection. On March 12, 2019, the presiding judge denied 
the government's attempt to dismiss the lawsuit.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------
    \202\ NAACP et al. v. U.S. Dep't of Homeland Sec. et al., 364 F. 
Supp.3d 568 (D. Md. 2019).
    \203\ Press Release, National Association for the Advancement of 
Colored People, ``Haitian Civil Rights Organizations Join NAACP and LDF 
in TPS Lawsuit,'' Apr. 18, 2018, available at https://www.naacp.org/
latest/haitian-civil-rights-organizations-join-naacp-ldf-tps-lawsuit/.


    Centro Presente v. DHS.\204\ On February 22, 2018, eight 
TPS recipients from El Salvador and Haiti, and the immigrants' 
rights organization Centro Presente filed a lawsuit against 
DHS, President Trump, Secretary Kirstjen Nielsen, and Deputy 
Secretary Elaine Duke in the U.S. District Court for the 
District of Massachusetts. The case challenges DHS' elimination 
of the TPS programs for Haitians and El Salvadorans, claiming, 
among other things, racial discrimination in violation of the 
equal protection clause of the Fourteenth Amendment as 
incorporated through the Fifth Amendment. On July 23, 2018, the 
presiding judge denied the government's request to remove 
President Trump as a defendant.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------
    \204\ Centro Presente et al. v. U.S. Dep't of Homeland Sec. et al., 
332 F. Supp.3d. 393 (D. Mass. 2018).


    Ramos v. Nielsen.\205\ On March 12, 2018, fourteen 
plaintiffs--nine TPS recipients and five American citizen 
children of TPS recipients from El Salvador, Haiti, Nicaragua, 
and Sudan--presented a class action lawsuit against DHS 
Secretary Kirstjen Nielsen and Deputy Secretary Elaine Duke in 
the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of 
California. The lawsuit claims that the termination of the 
program violates the Administrative Procedure Act and the 
plaintiffs' constitutional right to equal protection. The 
lawsuit also argues that the decision would separate families, 
cause irreparable harm, and endanger the lives of U.S. 
citizens. On October 3, 2018, the presiding judge awarded a 
preliminary injunction and the case is in the process of 
appeals in the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------
    \205\ Ramos et al. v. Nielsen et al., 336 F. Supp.3d 1075.


    Saget v. Trump.\206\ On March 15, 2018, ten Haitian TPS 
recipients, media outlet Haiti Liberte, and the Family Action 
Network Movement Inc., filed a lawsuit against DHS and 
President Trump in the U.S. District Court for the Eastern 
District of New York. The lawsuit alleges that the decision to 
terminate the TPS designation for Haiti was an arbitrary action 
with racist motives and was done without the necessary 
procedures outlined by the Administrative Procedures Act. On 
April 11, 2019, the presiding judge issued a nationwide 
preliminary injunction against the termination of TPS for 
Haiti.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------
    \206\ Saget et al. v. Donald Trump et al., 375 F. Supp.3d 280 
(E.D.N.Y. 2019).


    CASA de Maryland Inc. v. Trump.\207\ On March 23, 2018, 
three TPS recipients from El Salvador and immigration advocacy 
organization CASA de Maryland filed a lawsuit against President 
Trump in the U.S. District Court for the District of Maryland. 
The plaintiffs assert that the decision to terminate the El 
Salvador TPS designation violated their constitutional right to 
equal protection and was not based on a change in the 
conditions of the origin country.\208\ On November 28, 2018, 
the presiding judge denied the government's attempt to dismiss 
the lawsuit.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------
    \207\ CASA de Maryland, Inc. et al. v. Donald J. Trump et al., 355 
F. Supp.3d 307 (D. Md. 2018).
    \208\ Catholic Legal Immigration Network, ``Challenges to TPS and 
DED Terminations,'' available at https://cliniclegal.org/resources/
challenges-tps-terminations (updated Apr. 16, 2019).


    Bhattarai v. Nielsen.\209\ On February 10, 2019, eight 
plaintiffs--six TPS recipients and two American citizen 
children of TPS recipients from Honduras and Nepal--filed a 
class action lawsuit against DHS Secretary Kirstjen Nielsen in 
the U.S. District Court in the Northern District of California. 
The plaintiffs assert that the termination of the TPS 
designations for Honduras and Nepal would force American 
citizen children to make an ``intolerable choice: either leave 
this country or live without their parents'' and states that 
the argument made by Ramos v. Nielsen for TPS recipients from 
El Salvador, Haiti, Nicaragua, and Sudan could be similarly 
applied to TPS recipients from Honduras and Haiti.\210\
---------------------------------------------------------------------------
    \209\ Bhattarai et al. v. Nielsen et al., No. 3:19-cv-00731 (N.D. 
Cal. 2019).
    \210\ Id.

---------------------------------------------------------------------------
=======================================================================



                                ANNEX 3

=======================================================================


=======================================================================



                    Letter from Secretary Tillerson

                        to Acting Secretary Duke

=======================================================================

              [GRAPHIC(S) NOT AVAILABLE IN TIFF FORMAT]



=======================================================================



       Letter from Secretary Tillerson to Acting Secretary Duke:

              Recommendation Regarding Temporary Protected

                         Status (TPS) for Haiti

=======================================================================

              [GRAPHIC(S) NOT AVAILABLE IN TIFF FORMAT]



=======================================================================



       Letter from Secretary Tillerson to Acting Secretary Duke:

              Recommendation Regarding Temporary Protected

                       Status (TPS) for Honduras

=======================================================================

              [GRAPHIC(S) NOT AVAILABLE IN TIFF FORMAT]




=======================================================================



       Letter from Secretary Tillerson to Acting Secretary Duke:

              Recommendation Regarding Temporary Protected

                      Status (TPS) for El Salvador

=======================================================================

              [GRAPHIC(S) NOT AVAILABLE IN TIFF FORMAT]




=======================================================================



                Action Memo for Secretary Tillerson from

                 Acting Assistant Secretary Henshaw and

                  Acting Assistant Secretary Palmieri




              Recommendation Regarding Temporary Protected

      Status (TPS) for Honduras, Nicaragua, Haiti, and El Salvador

=======================================================================

              [GRAPHIC(S) NOT AVAILABLE IN TIFF FORMAT]




=======================================================================



                Action Memo for Secretary Tillerson from

                 Acting Assistant Secretary Henshaw and

                  Acting Assistant Secretary Palmieri




                      Tab 1: WHA--Terminating TPS

=======================================================================

              [GRAPHIC(S) NOT AVAILABLE IN TIFF FORMAT]



=======================================================================



                Action Memo for Secretary Tillerson from

                 Acting Assistant Secretary Henshaw and

                  Acting Assistant Secretary Palmieri




                      Tab 2: S/P--Terminating TPS

=======================================================================

              [GRAPHIC(S) NOT AVAILABLE IN TIFF FORMAT]



=======================================================================



                Action Memo for Secretary Tillerson from

                 Acting Assistant Secretary Henshaw and

                  Acting Assistant Secretary Palmieri




                       Tab 3: PRM--Extending TPS

=======================================================================

              [GRAPHIC(S) NOT AVAILABLE IN TIFF FORMAT]



=======================================================================



                Action Memo for Secretary Tillerson from

                 Acting Assistant Secretary Henshaw and

                  Acting Assistant Secretary Palmieri




                    Tab 4: PRM and WHA Assessment of

                    the Foreign Policy Implications

=======================================================================

              [GRAPHIC(S) NOT AVAILABLE IN TIFF FORMAT]



=======================================================================



                Action Memo for Secretary Tillerson from

                 Acting Assistant Secretary Henshaw and

                  Acting Assistant Secretary Palmieri




            Tab 5: Country Conditions Report for El Salvador

=======================================================================


              [GRAPHIC(S) NOT AVAILABLE IN TIFF FORMAT]




=======================================================================



                Action Memo for Secretary Tillerson from

                 Acting Assistant Secretary Henshaw and

                  Acting Assistant Secretary Palmieri




               Tab 6: Country Conditions Report for Haiti

=======================================================================

              [GRAPHIC(S) NOT AVAILABLE IN TIFF FORMAT]




=======================================================================



                Action Memo for Secretary Tillerson from

                 Acting Assistant Secretary Henshaw and

                  Acting Assistant Secretary Palmieri




             Tab 7: Country Conditions Report for Honduras

=======================================================================

              [GRAPHIC(S) NOT AVAILABLE IN TIFF FORMAT]




=======================================================================



                     State Department Cable--Haiti:

               Temporary Protected Status Recommendation

=======================================================================

              [GRAPHIC(S) NOT AVAILABLE IN TIFF FORMAT]



=======================================================================



                  State Department Cable--El Salvador:

               Temporary Protected Status Recommendation

=======================================================================

              [GRAPHIC(S) NOT AVAILABLE IN TIFF FORMAT]



=======================================================================



                   State Department Cable--Honduras:

               Temporary Protected Status Recommendation

=======================================================================

              [GRAPHIC(S) NOT AVAILABLE IN TIFF FORMAT]





                                  [all]