Tens of thousands of foreign nationals from countries under Temporary Protected Status (TPS), a temporary immigration status, can continue seeking employment authorization until January 2, 2020. This status extension specifically applies to nationals from El Salvador, Haiti, Nicaragua, and Sudan. It does not, however, not include countries not covered in the Ramos v. Nielsen suit, namely Honduras and Nepal.
Temporary Protected Status is provided by the Department of Homeland Security to nationals from foreign countries (or parts thereof) that have extraordinary conditions threatening the safety and lives of its people. These conditions include civil unrest, a natural calamity, an epidemic, or other temporary conditions. Nationals from these countries may be allowed to stay, work in, and travel from and to the United States for humanitarian reasons, until the conditions in their home countries have passed, at which point they should ideally return.
This was the rationale behind the Trump administration’s move to terminate the TPS designation for the five aforementioned countries announced in 2017, an order that took effect last year.
The order, however, was blocked last October by a federal judge in California, citing the economic impact of the termination of TPS, which include losing $164 billion from the GDP, $6.9 billion in Social Security and Medicare contributions over a 10-year period, and $733 million in turnover costs for industries that depend on TPS beneficiaries.
The Ramos v. Nielsen decision resulted in a preliminary injunction that, if still pending by March 2019, would furthermore result in the Department of Homeland Security’s (DHS) extension of all TPS-related documents until January 2020.
For families staying in the U.S. through TPS, the idea of uprooting their lives to their return to their home countries could have disastrous results. Many of these individuals already have stable jobs here. In addition, many of these immigrant families are made up of parents whose children were born in the country, making them U.S. citizens, forcing them into a position where they have to decide whether to leave their children or relocate them to a country they have never been to.
This may affect up to 500,000 U.S. citizen children.
“We could witness the biggest mass deportation of U.S.-born children to nations in turmoil,” said Marleine Bastien, Executive Director of Family Action Movement Network (FAMN).
With the uncertainty surrounding the TPS, the lack of a permanent solution to the issue, and the tremendous backlog in immigration cases caused by Trump’s government shutdown, TPS beneficiaries are advised to take action as soon as possible.
As early as now, foreign nationals currently dependent on their home country’s TPS can look for alternative nonimmigrant statuses that would allow them to stay in the U.S. with their children.
If you would like to learn more about the lawful immigration statuses you may be eligible for and need assistance in acquiring these for yourself or a loved one, the Lyttle Law Firm is ready to help. Call our offices today at (512) 215-5225 to schedule a consultation with immigration attorney Daniella Lyttle for a full review of your credentials.