Sen. Tom Carper released a statement May 4 regarding President Donald Trump administration’s decision to end temporary protected status for more than 86,000 Hondurans who have lived in the U.S. since 1999, when a hurricane hit their home country.

“The Trump administration’s decision to end temporary protection status legal protections for over 86,000 Hondurans currently living in the U.S. needlessly uproots those who have called this country home for the past two decades. These are our neighbors and members of our communities. Forcing them out now is not only cruel, but economically shortsighted,” said Carper.

“Today’s announcement punishes those who contribute to this country and will remove much-needed workers from vital sectors of the U.S. economy. It also threatens to hinder progress made to improve both social and economic conditions in Honduras since Hurricane Mitch devastated the country in the late 1990s and brought these families to our country. Tragically, since the storm, Honduras has been plagued by violence and widespread organized crime that afflicts all nations in the Northern Triangle, in part because of our own country’s insatiable demand for deadly narcotics. We should be working to support our Central American neighbors, rather than forcing these countries to take in tens of thousands of residents while reducing U.S. aid,” said Carper.

“First, the Trump administration ended legal protections for nearly 200,000 Salvadorans living and working in the U.S. Now, they are doing the same to over 86,000 Hondurans — despite the fact that the country’s economy cannot absorb new residents. I fear that these decisions are being made for political reasons and not guided by sound policy, and I strongly urge President Trump to rethink this misguided decision,” said Carper.