After President Trump’s decision to end the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA,) immigrant advocates voice concern over Temporary Protected Status (TPS) for several countries whose nationals have lived in the U.S. for up to 20 years. TPS, a part of immigration law allowing the federal government to grant temporary work authorization and protection from deportation to both documented and undocumented immigrants, currently extends to more than 440,000 people.
The government extends TPS to those hailing from countries with dangerous conditions, including armed conflict and civil war, natural disasters, epidemics or other extraordinary conditions. Although the status is intended as to provide only temporary refuge from dangerous conditions, crises in some countries continue for years on end, leading to perpetual TPS status for citizens of those affected countries.
As reported by CNN, the status as currently extended to immigrants from Sudan and South Sudan expires in just a few months on November 2. The status of immigrants from these countries, which is determined by the Department of Homeland Security (DHS,) ends November 2. DHS is required to make a decision as to whether to extend TPS 60 days before the expiration. The decision will affect 1,039 Sudanese nationals and 49 South Sudanese nationals.
“In the next six months, the Trump Administration will weigh whether to extend the status for several countries whose immigrants have lived in the United States for as long as 20 years– with a decision to end that status potentially upending lives,” according to the report.
According to a U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS,) officials with the agency have made a determination on whether to extend TPS to the Sudanese and South Sudanese nationals and will publish the decision in the Federal Register “shortly.”
TPS beneficiaries from Haiti, Honduras, and Nicaragua each have larger populations than TPS Sudan and South Sudan recipients. TPS for nationals from these countries ends in January 2018.
Former DHS Secretary Gen. John Kelly provided a six-month TPS extension for the nearly 59,000 Haitian beneficiaries in July. At the time, Kelly advised the recipients interested in staying in the country to apply for legal status through an alternate method.
TPS was extended to Haitian nationals as a result of the country’s 2011 earthquake.