Temporary Protected Status…

Temporary Protected Status… Would the Trump Era Really Strip Millions of People out of protection?

by Jose Enrique Perez

I have written several times about TPS or Temporary Protected Status. In fact, to refresh your recollection TPS is a temporary immigration status granted to eligible nationals of other countries (like El Salvador, Haiti, Honduras, Nicaragua, Somalia, Sudan, and others). A country is generally designated for TPS when there are temporary negative conditions, such as armed conflict or an environmental disaster, that prevent nationals of the country from returning safely or for the country to handle their return adequately. The benefit is granted for 18 months.

The most important immigration aspects of the TPS are that the beneficiaries of the TPS are allowed to remain in the United States and can legally work for a set time period (even if they were undocumented).

The United States Citizenship and Immigration Services (hereinafter “USCIS”) is the agency of the DHS in charge for the processing of immigration applications for TPS filed by nationals designated as beneficiaries.

Just a few weeks ago, President Trump and his Staff made public statements indicating that the Temporary Protected Status by its own definition is “Temporary” and therefore must come to an “End.”

However, lawyers, civil rights advocates and immigration friends have all voiced serious concerns and opposition against such measure.

For instance, Secretary Kelly (before he left that position) announced that the Trump Administration was not going to renew Haiti for TPS. Then, the administration approved an extension for 6 months (not 18 months as always).

So, the question is asked: Would President Trump really end the TPS benefit? I don’t believe so. The arguments against that are in the hundreds, but here, there are a few:

While it is a relief that TPS for Haitians has not been terminated, extending TPS for six months is not enough because no family can continue to build their lives in six month increments with fear and uncertainty.

Six months is not enough for families who’ve lived here for an average of 7-15 years to uproot everything they know and return to Haiti or any of the other countries designated as TPS.

If President Trump or his staff visits any of the countries designated as TPS and see with their own eyes the affected communities in order to make a fair and honest assessment of the conditions on the ground, then they would realize that extensions are necessary for many years to come. For instance, Haiti today remains a country ravaged by food shortages, a cholera epidemic, and homelessness.

TPS beneficiaries are part of the American family. Just like many Americans before them who fled famine, poverty war or violence, TPS beneficiaries sought to rebuild their lives in America after natural disasters and other calamities devastated their countries prompting tremendous humanitarian crisis in those countries. Ending TPS and deporting the beneficiaries would tear apart families and send millions back into unresolved crisis in each of those countries.

You should remember that this article is not intended to provide you with legal advice; it is intended only to provide guidance about the current status of the TPS.

I represent individuals in immigration cases. If you have any questions or concerns about an immigration case, you can call me at (315) 422-5673, send me a fax at (315) 466-5673, or e-mail me at joseperez@joseperezyourlawyer.com. The Law Office of Jose Perez is located at 120 East Washington Street, Suite 925, Syracuse, New York 13202. Now with offices in Buffalo and Rochester!!! Please look for my next article in the October edition.