(CNSNews.com) – House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi (D.-Calif.) accused the Trump Administration on Friday of launching a “cowardly assault on 57,000 Hondurans” by cancelling their Temporary Protected Status (TPS), which was based on the damage done to their country by a hurricane that struck 19 years ago and allowed them to stay in the United States while their country was overcoming that damage.

“The Trump Administration’s spiteful and subjective immigration policies are casting a cloud of fear and uncertainty over American communities,” Pelosi said. “If the Administration refuses to rescind this decision, Republicans in Congress have a moral responsibility to step in and ensure permanent protection for these hard-working, patriotic Hondurans.”

Hondurans were granted TPS in the United States in 1999 after Hurricane Mitch struck their country. The status allowed them to stay in the United States while their country recovered from that storm 19 years ago.

Homeland Security Secretary Kirsten Nielsen announced yesterday that the TPS status of Hondurans would end on Jan. 5, 2020—giving the Hondurans taking refuge in the United States more than 18 months to prepare to return to their homeland.

“The decision to terminate TPS for Honduras was made after a review of the environmental disaster-related conditions upon which the country’s original 1999 TPS designation was based and an assessment of whether those originating conditions continue to exist, as required by statute,” DHS said in a statement. “Based on careful consideration of available information, including recommendations received as part of an inter-agency consultation process, the Secretary determined that the disruption of living conditions in Honduras from Hurricane Mitch that served as the basis for its TPS designation has decreased to a degree that it should no longer be regarded as substantial. Thus, as required under the applicable statute, the current TPS designation must be terminated.

Here is House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi’s response to this decision:

“Today’s decision by the Trump Administration to end Temporary Protect Status is a cowardly assault on 57,000 Hondurans, which will tear apart families and communities across America. These proud men and women are American in every way, bringing their vibrant heritage and hard work to enrich our nation as they pursue the American Dream for themselves and their families.

“Rescinding TPS and deporting tens of thousands of families will only deepen the suffering in Honduras, where political instability, food shortages and gang violence continue to exact a devastating toll on local populations. Instead of fulfilling our obligations to protect refugees and those fleeing political persecution and environmental disasters, the Trump Administration is once again fanning the flames of bigotry, racism and xenophobia at the expense of our nation’s values and national security.

“The Trump Administration’s spiteful and subjective immigration policies are casting a cloud of fear and uncertainty over American communities. If the Administration refuses to rescind this decision, Republicans in Congress have a moral responsibility to step in and ensure permanent protection for these hard-working, patriotic Hondurans.”