On Nov. 1, the Department of Homeland Security announced that temporary protections for immigrants from several countries will be extended until January 2021. The action is designed to satisfy a court-ordered stay on the Trump administration’s plans to terminate the Temporary Protected Status, or TPS, of certain immigrants living in California and across the U.S.
According to the DHS, the TPS extension will apply to immigrants from El Salvador, Haiti, Nicaragua, Honduras, Nepal and Sudan who are fleeing from civil wars or natural disasters. Over the past two decades, presidential administrations have routinely renewed the TPS rights of thousands of immigrants. However, the Trump administration has attempted to stop the program for most foreign nationals, prompting multiple lawsuits challenging the decision.
In October 2018, a judge granted a preliminary injunction ordering the government to extend TPS protections to immigrants from El Salvador, Haiti, Nicaragua and Sudan. In April 2019, a district court judge issued a temporary order that prevents the government from ending TPS protections for immigrants from Honduras and Nepal. According to legal experts, the DHS is likely to extend TPS protections every nine months until the court cases are resolved. However, a ruling in favor of TPS immigrants won’t give them the right to receive permanent protections. Instead, it would mean the court found the actions of the Trump administration illegal.
Immigrants seeking TPS renewals, asylum, visas or U.S. citizenship might find it helpful to work with an immigration attorney. An attorney could help a foreign national navigate the complex American immigration system and attempt to obtain permanent residency. If an immigrant has received a deportation order, an attorney might be able to fight the directive and help him or her gain approval to remain in the country.