Recently, the Department of Homeland Security announced it’s decision to end Temporary Protected Status (TPS) for 4 countries: Sudan, Nicaragua, Haiti, and El Salvador. However, a federal judge in California issued a ruling in the case of Ramos v. Nielson, which effectively blocks the administration’s efforts to end TPS for over 300,000 immigrant. The Court found that granting the relief was necessary to prevent “irreparable harm” to TPS beneficiaries and their families. The Department of Homeland Security will comply with the court’s order, however, future litigation on this issue is highly likely and this issue could possibly even reach the United States Supreme Court. Let’s take a closer look at this immigration law.
What is Temporary Protected Status?
TPS is a temporary immigration status that can be provided to foreign nationals of certain countries that allow them to stay and work in the US legally. For a country to be granted TPS, it must have extraordinary conditions such as a civil war, health epidemic, or a natural disaster that make living there a risk to its citizens. Generally, if a foreign nationalist with TPS were to go back to their country they may be at risk or returning could be a hardship on the foreign government.
Congress as part of the Immigration Act of 1990 created TPS and the Secretary of Homeland Security has full discretion to decide which country merits a TPS designation as long as it is constitutional.
How Long does Temporary Protected Status Last?
TPS status for a country can be granted for 6 months, 12 months, or 18 months. The Secretary must decide at least 60 days in advance to either extend or terminate the TPS designation. If this time frame is not met, it will automatically be renewed for 6 months.
Who is Eligible?
Currently, there are 10 countries with Temporary Protected Status designation:
But, a foreign national does not automatically receive TPS just because they are from a country that has a TPS designation.
They must register during a specific registration period and pay the appropriate fees. They must also be a citizen of the TPS designated country, have been present and continuously resided in America since its country’s designation, and cannot be convicted of one or more felony crimes or two or more misdemeanors.
It is important to note that having TPS does not create a path to permanent residence in the US. If they want to get a green card they will have to apply separately and go through that process.
The Future of TPS
The Trump administration argues that the initial conditions of these countries that necessitated their TPS designation are no longer present and that these designations should remain temporary as the name implies.
While it remains in the courts, there is temporary relief for US foreign nationalists with TPS designations from Sudan, Nicaragua, Haiti, and El Salvador. There are plans to appeal the case. With a more conservative Supreme Court justice panel, it is possible that the initial ruling will be overturned and almost half a million TPS designees will have to return to their country or face deportation. For most this will be a hardship, as they have lived and worked in the United States legally for decades and some even have children who were born in America. Right now, it is a waiting game for their futures to be determined.
Hubbs Law in Miami Can Help
If you or someone you know is concerned about the future of their TPS, contact our experienced Miami immigration lawyers. Hubbs Law firm can help you understand how this may impact you and your family so you can avoid any potential deportation issues. Call us 24/7 at 305-665-9040 or schedule a free consultation today.