Skip to main content


U.S. to grant protected immigrant status to Nicaraguans

The move comes amid pressure from several immigration advocates and lawmakers

Protests in Nicaragua
Protests in Nicaragua | Shutterstock

March 7, 2023 7:10am

Updated: March 7, 2023 11:02am

The Biden administration is expected to grant Temporary Protected Status (TPS) to Nicaraguan citizens, according to three people familiar with the plans.

The move comes amid pressure from several immigration advocates and lawmakers, reported Politico. However, it is unclear when the Dept. of Homeland Security will begin to grant the TPS status to Nicaraguans. 

TPS is a status given to eligible nationals of foreign countries if the conditions in their home country “prevent them from returning safely, or in certain circumstances, where the country is unable to handle the return of its nationals adequately,” according to the United States Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS). 

Generally, TPS status is given to citizens of countries that are going through an armed conflict, an environmental disaster—such as an earthquake or hurricane— or an epidemic, or other extraordinary conditions. 

Migrants granted TPS status are able to remain in the United States for a specific period of time, can obtain employment authorization, and are granted travel authorization. 

record number of Nicaraguans sought to enter the U.S. during Fiscal Year 2022, fleeing persecution and poor economic conditions in the Central American country.

Border Patrol agents intercepted more than 183,876 Nicaraguans last year, eclipsing the number of migrants from other Central American countries, according to government statistics. 

Last fall, the Biden administration extended the TPS status for several countries, including Nicaragua, for an additional 18 months.

Yet, immigration groups and lawmakers from Florida lawmakers are pressuring the Biden administration to designate TPS for Nicaraguans already living in the U.S. so they can avoid fear of deportation. 

Federal lawmakers have called attention to Nicaraguan President Daniel Ortega’s constant persecution of his political opposition, protesters, clergy, and students. 

“The increasingly totalitarian nature of the Ortega-Murillo regime and the brutal political repression Nicaraguans face in their daily lives exacerbate the urgent need for the Biden Administration to redesignate and extend TPS to Nicaragua,” the lawmakers said in a letter addressed to the Department of Homeland Security Secretary Alejandro Mayorkas last month.