TPS EXTENDED for El Salvador, Haiti, Honduras and Sudan

The Department of Homeland Security (DHS) announced actions to ensure its compliance with a court injunction by extending Temporary Protected Status (TPS) programs for immigrants from El Salvador, Haiti, Honduras and Sudan — which the Trump administration has sought to terminate. About 200,000 Salvadorans, 50,000 Haitians, 2,500 Nicaraguans and 1,000 Sudanese currently have TPS protections.

In a USCIS notice officially published to the Federal Register, DHS said current TPS holders from the four nations will have their protections extended through Jan. 2, 2020. By extending the legal status of more than 250,000 immigrants facing possible deportation, the administration is complying with a preliminary injunction issued by the U.S. Circuit Court for the Northern District of California in October.

“After the Trump Administration cruelly threw the lives of TPS holders into disarray in an illegal revocation of their temporary immigration status, it was high-time that the Department of Homeland Security extended their status after the court ruling,” Rep. Raúl Grijalva wrote in a statement Thursday. “Xenophobia should never be the driving force of immigration policy, and DHS should also extend TPS status to those from Nepal and Honduras after they callously removed their protections in 2018.”

What is TPS

The Secretary of Homeland Security may designate a foreign country for TPS due to conditions in the country that temporarily prevent the country’s nationals from returning safely, or in certain circumstances, where the country is unable to handle the return of its nationals adequately.  USCIS may grant TPS to eligible nationals of certain countries (or parts of countries), who are already in the United States.  Eligible individuals without nationality who last resided in the designated country may also be granted TPS.

The Secretary may designate a country for TPS due to the following temporary conditions in the country:

  • Ongoing armed conflict (such as civil war)
  • An environmental disaster (such as earthquake or hurricane), or an epidemic
  • Other extraordinary and temporary conditions

During a designated period, individuals who are TPS beneficiaries or who are found preliminarily eligible for TPS upon initial review of their cases (prima facieeligible):

  • Are not removable from the United States
  • Can obtain an employment authorization document (EAD)
  • May be granted travel authorization

Once granted TPS, an individual also cannot be detained by DHS on the basis of his or her immigration status in the United States.

TPS is a temporary benefit that does not lead to lawful permanent resident status or give any other immigration status. However, registration for TPS does not prevent you from:

  • Applying for nonimmigrant status
  • Filing for adjustment of status based on an immigrant petition
  • Applying for any other immigration benefit or protection for which you may be eligible