200,000 Salvadorans Will Lose Temporary Protected Status

January 8th, 2018

USCIS will end Temporary Protected Status (TPS) for approximately 200,000 Salvadorans on September 9, 2019. The Salvadorans were initially granted TPS after earthquakes devastated the country in 2001. The Department of Homeland Security determined that conditions in El Salvador have improved significantly to make it safe enough for the Salvadoran TPS holders to return. The 200,000 TPS Salvadorans are the parents of an estimated 190,000 children born in the US and about one-third own homes.

Immigration advocates contend that TPS should be extended, since El Salvador is one of the most violent countries in the world and that TPS Salvadorans send money home, which stabilizes the country by bolstering its economy.

Extension of Temporary Protected Status for Honduras

December 14th, 2017

The Department of Homeland Security has extended temporary protected status (TPS) designation for Honduras through July 5, 2018. It was due to expire on January 6, 2018, but because the US government did not make a determination that the conditions in Honduras no longer qualify it for TPS status, the designation was automatically extended by law for six months.

Termination of Temporary Protected Status for Nicaraguans

December 14th, 2017

The Department of Homeland Security has terminated the designation of Nicaragua for temporary protected status (TPS). The termination will become effective January 5, 2019, which is 12 months following the end of its current TPS designation.

DHS Terminates Temporary Protected Status (TPS) for Haitians as of July 2019

November 22nd, 2017

The US Department of Homeland Security (DHS) announced that it will terminate Temporary Protected Status (TPS) designation for Haiti as of July 22, 2019. Haitians with TPS will be required to reapply for EADs in order to legally work in the United States.

Temporary protected status is offered to legal US residents and undocumented immigrants when war, natural disaster or other “extraordinary” conditions temporarily make return to their native country unsafe. The foreign nationals can obtain employment authorization, but TPS status does not “lead to lawful, permanent resident status.” Foreign nationals from 10 nations legally reside in TPS status in the US and these countries are El Salvador, Honduras, Nicaragua, Somalia, Sudan, South Sudan, Syria, Nepal and Yemen. Nicaragua’s TPS designation will terminate in 2019 and DHS is expected to make a decision on El Salvador’s TPS fate next month.

Haiti was originally granted TPS designation because of the devastating earthquake that struck it in 2010. Haiti was already the Western Hemisphere’s poorest nation in 2010 and the earthquake killed more than 200,000, left hundreds of thousands homeless and decimated most of the island’s infrastructure. In its recent decision, DHS determined that the extraordinary conditions caused by the 2010 earthquake no longer exist and that under the applicable statute TPS designation must be terminated. However, a variety of American groups, including the Congressional Black Caucus and the US Chamber of Commerce decry the termination, stating that Haiti is still in dire straits and cannot adequately handle the safe return of their nationals and that the approximate 60,000 Haitians who are in the US pursuant to TPS status are working, paying their taxes, sending needed money home to Haiti and have raised families in the US.

Almost 30,000 children have been born in the US to Haitian TPS holders. These children are US citizen and entitled to remain in the US. Their parents face a heart-wrenching decision: take their children back to the Haiti, leave them with relatives or guardian in the US or remain in the country illegally and risk deportation. Some of the parents may qualify for cancellation of removal if they can show extreme hardship to a US born child.

USCIS Will Terminate TPS Status for Guinea, Liberia and Sierra Leone

April 25th, 2017

On April 19, 2017, USCIS announced that it will not renew Temporary Protected Status (TPS) for beneficiaries from Guinea, Liberia and Sierra Leone and that the designations will be terminated on May 21, 2017. The Department of Homeland Security has also recommended terminating TPS status for Haiti.

USCIS may designate a foreign country for TPS if conditions in the country are unsafe for its nationals to returning safely, or in certain circumstances, where the country cannot adequately manage the return of its nationals. A national of a TPS country, or someone who last resided there, may apply for TPS status while in the US.

USCIS may designate a country for TPS based on one of the following temporary conditions:

• Ongoing armed conflict (such as civil war):
• An environmental disaster (such as an earthquake), or an epidemic; or
• Any other extraordinary and temporary situation.

TPS beneficiaries who are found primarily eligible based on an initial review of their cases are granted the following:

• Protection from being removed from the US:
• Ability to obtain employment authorization; and
• Ability to obtain permission to travel abroad.

Also, if TPS is granted, then the beneficiary cannot be detained by DHS on the basis of his or her immigration status in the United States.

While TPS is only a temporary benefit, as opposed to legal permanent residency, and does not lead to any other immigration status, it does not bar someone from seeking to change immigration status. A TPS beneficiary may apply for another type of nonimmigrant visa, such as an H-1B specialty worker or F-1 foreign student, file to adjust status based on an immigrant visa petition (based on family qualifications, marriage or employment) or apply for any other immigration benefit (e.g. asylum).

Current countries designated for TPS are the following:

• El Salvador;
• Guinea;
• Haiti;
• Haiti;
• Honduras;
• Liberia;
• Nepal;
• Nicagarua;
• Sierra Leone;
• Somalia;
• Sudan;
• South Sudan;
• Syria; and
• Yemen.

To be eligible for TPS the applicant must be a national of the designated TPS country or a person who last habitually resided in that country. The applicant must also meet certain physical presence and residence requirements in the US, which are detailed in the TPS chart at https://www.uscis.gov/humanitarian/temporary-protected-status#What%20is%20TPS?.

Certain crimes and activities render a person ineligible for TPS. These include convictions of any felony or two or more misdemeanors committed in the US; other crimes making a person inadmissible to the US; security-related activities making a person inadmissible to the US; and engagement in terrorism or persecution of others.