WASHINGTON (AP) — Democrat Sen. Ben Cardin said Thursday he will place a hold on the nomination of Carlos Trujillo to be U.S. ambassador to the Organization of American States until State Department provides him with information regarding the decision process to end a temporary protected status for immigrants from Haiti and two Central American nations.
"I intend to hold this nomination on the floor until the Department responds to my request," said Cardin, the top Democrat on the Senate Foreign Relations Committee.
Cardin added the State Department has ignored for months a dozen of his requests for copies of recommendations by the U.S. embassies in El Salvador, Honduras, Nicaragua, and Haiti related to the extension or termination of the temporary residency program for each country.
The Trump administration ended the temporary protection for El Salvador, Haiti and Nicaragua and will make a decision later this year for Honduras.
Those decisions are based on an analysis made jointly by the Departments of State and Homeland Security, but Cardin said that "in the last year, State Department's role in this process has been far from normal".
The senator from Maryland said he believes that the recommendation made by Secretary of State Rex Tillerson ignored input from the embassies, which were supportive of extending TPS.
Cardin spoke during a business meeting in which the Foreign Relations Committee voted in favor of Trujillo and several other foreign service nominations.
Republican Sen. Bob Corker, chairman of the committee, refused to comment on the Trujillo nomination and told reporters he was not paying attention while Cardin was speaking.
The State Department referred an AP request for comment to the White House, which did not reply immediately Thursday.
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