That's according to Abdullah Kiatamba, executive director of African Immigrant Services in Brooklyn Park, Minn., who along with other immigration leaders is calling the termination premature.
Liberia, Guinea and Sierra Leone are still reeling from the aftermath of Ebola, he said, and it will take them years to recover.
"Ultimately, this is heartbreaking and troubling," Kiatamba said. Officials aren't releasing state numbers for how many people will be affected, which is why Kiatamba had to estimate.
In 2014, the Department of Homeland Security granted temporary protected status to about 5,000 West Africans. It allowed nationals from the hardest-hit countries to live and work here legally until the outbreak was contained.
Those countries were declared Ebola free in 2016. Now, those with temporary immigrant status must either return home or obtain legal status.
Critics of the status support the move and say programs designed to be temporary should end.
Health care systems in the countries hardest hit by Ebola were already fragile prior to the outbreak, said John Keller, executive director of the Immigrant Law Center of Minnesota.
"It's great these countries have been declared Ebola free, but the toll that fighting Ebola took on the countries, you have to take that into effect too," he said.
More than 11,000 people died during the Ebola outbreak. But the impact goes beyond the health care system, Kiatamba said.
"The employment system, economic system, social system, health have all collapsed," he said. "Their coming to the U.S. was a very important humanitarian step, and I think the reason for their coming has totally not been eliminated."
The temporary immigration status was originally issued for an 18-month period. It was extended twice — each time for six months.
Keller and other advocates nationwide pressed the Obama administration unsuccessfully for an 18-month extension. "We were only given six months from President Obama," he said. "The termination of TPS ... wheels were set in motion by the last administration."
Kiatamba said his agency and other community groups are creating a support system for people facing the Sunday deadline to leave the country or seek permanent legal status in the U.S.