Temporary Protected Status & Why Thousands Are At Risk

Like DACA, the Temporary Protected Status (TPS) program offers security to immigrants without legal status. While the TPS program has half the beneficiaries of DACA, there are over 400,000 residents in the U.S. who rely on their TPS to allow them to work, live, and build a life for themselves and family back home. Some beneficiaries have been here under the TPS program for 20 years and have hardly any ties to their country of origin.

However, the Trump administration is leaving hundreds of thousands unsure about their future.

The Purpose of the Temporary Protected Status Program

The purpose of the program is humanitarian. The idea was to allow undocumented immigrants from a short list of nations ravaged by natural disasters to work in the United States and send money back to their families. The program was structured to only allow people who were already in the U.S. to remain and gain work authorization, so it did not allow family members to join them.

Any country on the approved TPS list was ostensibly put there to help the nation recover and rebuild with money sent from the United States. In theory, it would allow the United States to provide indirect relief by limiting the number of deportees to the burdened nation. Of the hundreds of thousands here under TPS, 70 percent are from Honduras or El Salvador.

How the White House Can Affect TPS

Unlike DACA, the TPS was passed into law (DACA is an Obama-era Executive Order). However, while the TPS can’t be touched by the President, the White House decides which countries get to be on the TPS list and for how long. Renewal of the program is a few months away, and there’s a possibility that the White House will not renew Honduras’ or Nicaragua’s status when the decision is expected in a couple weeks.

Since arriving in the White House, President Trump has ended TPS protection for Sudan and issued a slightly shorter renewal period for Haiti. Pressure to continue the program is coming from immigration attorneys and immigrant advocates, but TPS gets far less attention than DACA—a program whose beneficiaries are generally much younger, college educated, raised in American culture, and internet savvy.

TPS beneficiaries also don’t have the political power utilized by DACA beneficiaries. Most of them are housekeepers or construction workers—people who are just trying to work and survive. Some policy experts are saying the program has betrayed its own name—“Temporary” Protected Status—but one possible solution is to allow longtime residents to pursue green cards. Our firm has been a longtime proponent of measures that would allow immigrants to obtain permanent legal status in lieu of TPS.

Get Help from a New Jersey TPS Lawyer

If you’re in the U.S. under the TPS program, my firm wants to help you secure your future. Since 1987, I have personally helped thousands of people with their immigration matters. I have extensive knowledge regarding the TPS program and other immigration programs you’re eligible for. If you want answers and assistance regarding your case, don’t hesitate to call (800) 909-8129 today.