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 neared its death bed.
A few weeks later, the Biden Administration extended the life line of the six nations facing termination under the Ninth Circuit’s ruling to December 31, 2022. As the deadline neared, on November 10, 2022, the government again extended their TPS benefits, up to June 30, 2024.
If you’re a TPS recipient, of course, uncertainty remains about the future of TPS, whatever your nation of origin. However, despite a sour TPS ending, winning permanent residence may still be in the cards for you.
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.
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 Dec. 5, 2022, Secretary of Homeland Security Alejandro N. Mayorkas announced the extension of Haiti for TPS for 18 months, from Feb. 4, 2023, through Aug. 3, 2024. This will enable Haitians who were had TPS status earlier to continue living and working legally in the United States for the duration of the designated period.
By virtue of the re-designation, Haitian immigrants who have been continuously residing in the United States since November 6, 2022 will be allowed to apply for TPS benefits for the first time during the new registration period.
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 temporary 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.
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.