Columbia, SC (WLTX) - The future of some 86,000 Hondurans working in the United States with Temporary Protected Status (TPS) is uncertain after an announcement from Homeland Security.
For almost two decades, Marlon Perez has been working in the United States. He was already here when Hurricane Mitch struck his home country of Honduras back in 1998. It was left in shambles.
Because of what happened, the United States started the Temporary Protective Status program, or TPS.
It allowed people like Perez to work legally in the states because they couldn't go back to their destroyed home country.
Perez has been able to renew it since then. "I have accomplished a lot," he said. He has an extensive culinary resume with hospitality experience too.
"You never take anything for granted in life and this is one example" said Perez.
"If the program is cut, I have no way of working" he said. "That's a really hard situation" because he already has a whole life made here in South Carolina.
Perez wonders what's going to happen to all the taxes he's paid into Social Security, 401K, all his savings. "What's going to happen to all that," he said.
The current program is being automatically extended for six months while it is under review. For now, people from Honduras can apply for another extension to their temporary stay.