Once again, President Biden has reversed the immigration course taken by the Trump Administration regarding the Temporary Protection program.
TPS for the country of Sudan, was earmarked for expiration on May 2, 2022, has been extended to November 3, 2022.
TPS for South Sudan, whose termination was to take effect on November 2, 2018, remained in effect due to federal lawsuits only up to December 31, 2022.
However, under the Biden announcement, the nation has been redesignated for full TPS benefits.
Though more vulnerable than ever before, Temporary Protected Status beneficiaries need not give up the fight.
On September 14, 2020, the Ninth Circuit of Appeals struck a near-fatal body blow to the dreams of nearly 300,000 TPS beneficiaries, leaving them groping for air as the program nears its death bed.
On June 7, 2021, the end-is-near message was amplified. The Supreme Court ruled that TPS grantees who entered the country without inspection are not eligible to adjust their status to permanent residency inside the United States.
A few weeks later, the Biden Administration extended the life line of the six nations facing termination under the Ninth Circuit’s only until December 31, 2022.
Despite these outcomes, your TPS story does not have to end on a negative note.
Defeat in law, especially immigration law, should be taken with a grain of salt. It is not uncommon for policies and principles to change over time.
“When one door closes”, Alexander Graham Bell once noted, “another often opens.”
He could have been talking about the Temporary Protected Status program.
On June 7, 2021, the Supreme Court denied the eligibility of TPS beneficiaries to seek adjustment of their status to permanent residence without leaving the United States.
Is their hope of becoming a lawful permanent resident now gone forever?
On May 22, 2021, the U.S. Department of Homeland Security extended Haiti’s Temporary Protected Status for 18 months. This designation will enable Haitians who were on TPS to continue living and working legally in the United States, until November 2022.
The program has been on its death bed since the Trump Administration announced its plan to terminate Haiti’s TPS status in January 2018. Various lawsuits managed to keep the alive, pending the outcome of those cases.
After an exhausting up-and-down legal battle, the extension provides Haitians with the chance to once again breathe a sign of relief.
The fundamental premise behind Temporary Protected Status is quite simple.
If the United States is truly the leader of the free world, it has a political obligation to lend a helping help to less fortunate nations.
Especially in their moments of crisis.
Like Syrian citizens who have escaped from a brutal civil war in their home country.
Is Canada the TPS solution?
A few days ago, Samuel, a client from Haiti, visited my San Bernardino immigration office. He wanted to talk about the future of the Temporary Protected Status program.
He worried that winning permanent residency was not in the cards. Samuel knew about the latest efforts to derail the TPS path to green cards through marriage.
Fearing deportation and a forced return to his home country, he confided he had been working on Plan B.
Nearly 20 years old, Honduras TPS and Nicaragua TPS are two of the longest-standing TPS programs.
However, termination dates for both programs have been set.
Nicaragua Temporary Protected Status benefits was designated for closure on January 5, 2019.
Honduras Temporary Protected Status has been scheduled to end on January July 5, 2020.
But due to pending lawsuits, the issue when and if TPS benefits for both nations will terminate is unclear.
People often hurt those closest to them in ways they would not harm others.
It is not uncommon, psychologists suggest, for individuals to treat relative strangers with more cordiality and respect than their best friends and loved ones.
The same holds true in politics.
Immigration law is secondary to political policy.
Temporary Protected Status is one such example.
Despite talk about humanitarian concerns, the decision to grant or deny TPS to those in need from a foreign country rests on international Machiavellianism.
Consider TPS for Pakistan.
Temporary Protected Status For Somalia is our country’s oldest TPS program. Yet, conditions have not improved enough for Somalis to return safely to their homeland.
According to Alejandro Mayorkas, director of the U.S Department of Homeland Security, the extension of TPS is warranted because the conditions in Somalia that prompted the TPS designation remain ongoing and have been exacerbated in recent years.
“Three decades of conflict in Somalia, along with natural disasters and disease outbreaks, have worsened an already severe humanitarian crisis. Somalia has recently experienced a dramatic upsurge in violence, severe drought, and flooding, which have contributed to worsening food insecurity and internal displacement.
The COVID-19 pandemic, in conjunction with an outbreak of cholera, also presents major challenges for a health care system that has already been severely weakened by the ongoing conflict. These conditions prevent Somali nationals and habitual residents from returning to Somalia safely.”
Based on this review, the Department of Homeland Security determined the 18-month extension was appropriate.