What is left of TPS after Hurricane Trump?

Wow…..What a bad year for immigration was the year 2017! First, Trump; then, mass deportation; then, the end of DACA; then, TPS ending; then, family preferences? We will see! 2018 does not look promising, but we will stand firm to fight for the immigrant families.

Now, we have heard a lot of reports that TPS has come to an end. Most of it, in fact did. Honduras is the only designation for TPS still alive after Hurricane Trump devastated the whole concept.

Congress established Temporary Protected Status in 1990 to create a statutory mechanism for granting temporary relief to persons in the U.S. who are unable to return to their home countries due to armed conflicts, environmental disasters, or other extraordinary and temporary conditions. Currently, 10 countries were designated for TPS: El Salvador, Haiti, Honduras, Nepal, Nicaragua, Somalia, Sudan, South Sudan, Syria, and Yemen. The power to make TPS designations rests with the Secretary of the U.S. Department of Homeland Security (DHS), which in essence means the President. Yes, unfortunately, President Trump.

Just before Christmas, the government of President Trump announced that Nicaragua TPS designation will end in January 2019. But, it was not all bad news as he also announced that Honduras was surviving his relentless attack on immigrant families.

Current beneficiaries of TPS under Honduras’ designation who want to maintain that status through the current expiration date of July 5, 2018, must re-register between Dec. 15, 2017 and Feb. 13, 2018. Re-registration procedures are similar to the ones in the past.

All applicants must submit Form I-821, Application for Temporary Protected Status and a completed Form I-765, Application for Employment Authorization.

USCIS will issue Employment Authorization Documents with a July 5, 2018 expiration date to eligible Honduran TPS beneficiaries who timely re-register and apply for work permits with this extension.

Given the delays in processing and timeframes involved with processing TPS re-registration applications and other forms, however, the government recognizes that not all re-registrants will receive new work permits before their current expiration date on Jan. 5, 2018. Accordingly, the government has automatically extended the validity of the work permits issued under the TPS designation of Honduras for 180 days, through July 4, 2018.

In November, former Acting Secretary of Homeland Security Elaine Duke announced that she was not making a determination on Honduras’ TPS designation at that time. By operation of the TPS statute, this postponement automatically extended the current TPS designation for Honduras for six months – through July 5, 2018. Duke concluded that additional time and information was necessary to make a determination on extension, redesignation, or termination of Honduras’ TPS designation.

During this six-month extension, individuals with TPS have been told to be “encouraged”: to prepare for their return to Honduras in the event Honduras’ designation is not extended again, including requesting updated travel documents from the government of Honduras.

At least 60 days before July 5, 2018, the Secretary will assess the country conditions in Honduras to determine whether to extend, redesignate, or terminate TPS for Honduras. Hondurans with TPS should determine whether they qualify for other types of relief in case termination becomes imminent. Notwithstanding how disastrous Hurricane Trump is, there will always be a light at the end of the tunnel.

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 TPS and other immigration policies.

About the author Jose Enrique Perez – 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 February edition.