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Immigrant battles tumor while fighting for TPS extension

Posted at 11:40 PM, Nov 28, 2017
and last updated 2017-11-29 02:53:23-05

People filled St. Ann Catholic Church to pray and seeking reassurance. Laura Barrera is an immigration attorney who joined other legal experts at the church to help people at risk of losing Temporary Protected Status (TPS).

"This leaves a lot of people in limbo," Barrera said.

Many of the people in attendance are in danger of losing TPS or saw it yanked away from them earlier this month. TPS offers protection to immigrants facing circumstances that make it dangerous for them to return home, typically war or natural disasters.  The Trump Administration has canceled TPS for Haitians and Nicaraguans. Status for 200,000 Salvadorans is set to expire in January. Typically its renewed every 18 months, which is a painful problem for Jose Lopez. In broken English; Lopez explained his dilemma and said he is hoping for an extension for his home country Honduras or a way to be a legal resident. 

Lopez has a stomach tumor. Any change in his immigration status puts his health in jeopardy. TPS protections for Hondurans have only been extended through January 2018 according to the Department of Homeland Security website. Lopez said without the program allowing him to work in Nevada legally he would lose his job, membership in the culinary union and his insurance benefits. 

He came to the forum hoping to find a legal and permanent solution. 

"This is where their life is," said Barrera. "So, its really cruel at this point to take away their 
TPS status and go back to their home countries."