Despite a ruling last week by a federal judge halting a plan to end the Temporary Protected Status (TPS) program that originated in 1990, the program is not out of the woods yet. In fact, there is an increasing possibility that it will be eliminated in part or in full. In the meantime, hundreds of thousands of people are forced to wait and are having conversations with their families they weren’t prepared to have.
A country that is undergoing a temporary condition that prevents its nationals from making a safe return can be granted Temporary Protected Status by the Department of Homeland Security. These temporary conditions can include an armed conflict, such as a civil war, an environmental or natural disaster, or a disease epidemic, among others. This means that natives of these countries become beneficiaries of the program and are not forcibly removable from the United States. Though not a direct path toward citizenship, over the past few decades the program has allowed more than 310,000 individuals that otherwise would have faced uncertain futures to legally remain in the United States.
The ten countries currently designated for TPS are El Salvador, Haiti, Honduras, Nepal, Nicaragua, Somalia, Sudan, South Sudan, Syria, and Yemen.
The Trump Administration has been trying to phase out the program for the past year. Although many holders of TPS are actively employed and following all laws, in addition to the fact that many of their home countries are still struggling in one way or another, the current administration believes they are violating the “temporary” part of Temporary Protected Status.
All countries are considered for an extension of TPS on a case by case basis. In July, Secretary Nielsen extended TPS to the year 2020 for Somalia and Yemen stating that the conditions there have not improved enough for nationals to safely return. However, extensions for El Salvador, Haiti, Honduras, Nicaragua, Nepal, and Sudan have not been granted.
If forced to return to their home countries, individuals from these six countries could be met with dangerous conditions. An additional concern is the children born in the United States to holders of TPS. If they are sent with the parents, those children will be living in a place they have never known.
If you or a loved one believe your Temporary Protected Status may be in danger or you have questions about the registration or re-registration process, take action now by contacting the experienced immigration lawyers at Dehghani & Associates, LLC. Based in New Haven, Connecticut, our law firm has successfully represented numerous immigration cases in federal court and can practice immigration law in all fifty states, as well as the District of Columbia.
We know that your immigration concerns are a time sensitive issue, which is why we offer a full consultation within twenty-four hours of initial contact. Call us today at (203) 773-9513 or reach out via our online form.