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What is Temporary Protected Status?

Temporary Protected Status, or TPS, is a temporary, renewable program that provides relief from deportation and access to a work permit for certain migrants in a small number of countries who may not meet the legal definition of refugee but who cannot safely return to their country of origin.

Are TPS beneficiaries granted Citizenship?

TPS is a temporary benefit that does not lead to lawful permanent resident status or give any other immigration status. Even if you were to live and work legally in the United States as a TPS beneficiary for many years, there is no route to permanent residence.

What needs to be done to allow a path to lawful permanent residency?

The TPS provision in the INA states that a bill or amendment that provides for the adjustment to lawful temporary or legal permanent resident (LPR) status for any migrant receiving TPS requires a supermajority vote in the Senate (i.e., three-fifths of all Senators) voting affirmatively. Provisions that would have allowed nationals from various countries that have had TPS to adjust to LPR status had been introduced in past Congresses, but not enacted.

What happens if TPS is terminated for a designated country?

DHS has made clear that information it collects when a migrant registers for TPS may be used to institute exclusion or deportation proceedings upon the denial, withdrawal, or expiration of TPS.

Why former TPS recipients could be deported if TPS is allowed to expire or withdrawn?

Upon the denial, withdrawal, or expiration of TPS the foreign nationals lack proper immigration authorization to remain in the country, there three kinds of violation of the Immigration and Nationality Act: (1) those who overstay their nonimmigrant visas, (2) those who enter the country surreptitiously without inspection, and (3) those who are admitted on the basis of fraudulent documents. In all three instances, those individuals are in violation of the Immigration and Nationality Act (INA) and subject to removal.

How the Executive Orders of the new administration may impact TPS recipients?

On January 25, 2017 President Trump signed Executive Order 13768, Enhancing Public Safety in the Interior of the United States, which was later implemented through a memorandum signed by the DHS Secretary on February 20, 2017.These executive actions dramatically increased the universe of immigrants subject to deportation, eliminating the Obama Administration’s enforcement priorities and essentially making all immigrants subject to deportation. Consequently, while the 300,000 Salvadoran, Honduran, and Haitian TPS holders are currently protected from deportation, upon termination of TPS, these individuals will not only become subject to deportation, but will be at serious risk because DHS has extensive and updated records on their place residence and work, due to the frequent re-registration requirements of the program.