Preliminary Injunction Grants Relief for TPS Holders
Temporary protected status also called “TPS” is a temporary status given to eligible nationals of designated countries who are present in the United States. The status, afforded to nationals from some countries affected by armed conflict or natural disaster, allows persons to live and work in the United States for limited times.
The Secretary of Homeland Security may designate a foreign country for TPS due to conditions in the country that temporarily prevent the country’s nationals from returning safely, or in certain circumstances, where the country is unable to handle the return of its nationals adequately.
During a designated period, individuals who are TPS beneficiaries or who are found preliminarily eligible for TPS upon initial review of their cases:
- Are not removable from the United States
- Can obtain an employment authorization document (EAD)
- May be granted travel authorization
By 2017, the temporary protected status program covered people from ten countries, namely El Salvador, Haiti, Honduras, Liberia, Nepal, Nicaragua, Somalia, Sudan, South Sudan, Syria, and Yemen. By November 2017, about 300,000 foreign nationals were recipients of protection under temporary protected status. Some have been in the United States since the 1990s, it should be noted that the Protection of 2,500 immigrants from Nicaragua under temporary protected status were supposed to terminate on January 5, 2019, temporary protected status for the largest group, 263,280 Salvadorans, and the second-largest group, 45,000 Haitians, were supposed to terminate in 2019.
In January 2018, the U.S. Government announced that temporary protected status for Salvadorians would be discontinued and stated that Salvadorians currently living in the United States under temporary protected status must either leave the country or find another legal status by September 2019.
On October 3, 2018 The U.S District Court for the Northern District of California granted a preliminary injunction stopping the government from terminating temporary protected status, or TPS, for immigrants from Sudan, El Salvador, Haiti and Nicaragua, US District Judge Edward Chen ruled that the government must maintain TPS, and employment authorizations for TPS beneficiaries from those countries based on evidence that the administration may have violated the Constitution when it made decisions to end TPS, consequently on October 21,2018 through a notice of compliance the Department of Homeland Security furthermore announces actions to ensure compliance with the preliminary injunction order of the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of California in Ramos v. Nielsen, No. 18–cv–01554 (N.D. Cal. Oct. 3, 2018) where TPS status is not withdrawn under INA section 244(c)(3) or 8 CFR 244.14 because of ineligibility.
DHS is further announcing it is automatically extending through April 2, 2019, the validity of TPS-related Employment Authorization Documents (EADs), Forms I–797, Notice of Action (Approval Notice), and Forms I–94 (Arrival/Departure Record) (collectively ‘‘TPS-Related Documentation’’), as specified in this Notice, for beneficiaries under the TPS designations for Sudan and Nicaragua, provided that the affected TPS beneficiaries remain otherwise individually eligible for TPS. See INA section 244(c)(3).
This Notice also provides information explaining DHS’s plans to issue a subsequent notice that will describe the steps DHS will take after April 2, 2019 to continue its compliance with the preliminary injunction. DHS is automatically extending the validity of TPS-Related Documentation for those beneficiaries under the TPS designations for Sudan and Nicaragua, as specified in this effect for six months from the issuance of the preliminary injunction (which occurred on October 3, 2018), through TPS is not withdrawn under INA section 244(c)(3) or 8 CFR 244.14 because of ineligibility. In the event the preliminary injunction is reversed and that reversal becomes final, DHS will allow for an orderly transition period, as described in the ‘‘Possible Future Action’’ section of this Notice.
This ruling is very good news for the 300,000 TPS holders affected by the ruling — and for the US-citizen children many of them have. The lead plaintiff in the case, 14-year-old Christa Ramos (whose parents are from El Salvador), t’s especially good news for the 1,000 Sudanese TPS holders who had barely a month to stay in the US legally, who will almost certainly be able to stay past November 2 under this injunction and It’s probably also good news for the 5,000 Nicaraguan TPS holders whose leave-by date was January 19, 2019.