What Happens if My Temporary Protective Status is Discontinued?
When a person has Temporary Protective Status, or TPS, they have legal recognition from the United States government as an individual who is temporarily permitted to remain with the U.S., and they are protected from being detained or deported as such. TPS is a designation that is given to those who are within the United States, and for whom returning to their own country would be unsafe or impossible due to extreme conditions, such as civil war or natural disaster.
While TPS can be a significant protector, if and when TPS ends, there are many questions about what happens next, and whether or not you have to return to your home country can be confusing. Here’s an overview of what you should know:
When Is TPS Status Ended?
The first thing that is important to know is that ending Temporary Protective Status for a group of immigrants was extremely rare. Once a country has been put on a TPS list and its citizens been given TPS, the status has typically been rolled over every 18 months (of course, there are some exceptions to this, such as with Kosovo). In fact, prior to the Trump Administration, there had been no TPS discontinuations since 2009.
TPS Status Is Being Discontinued for Some Immigrants
Sadly, President Trump has made the decision to discontinue TPS designation for some immigrants. Immigrants from the following countries may be at risk of having to return to their home countries in the coming years:
- El Salvador. On January 8, 2018, the Trump administration announced that Temporary Protected Status for El Salvador will end on September 9, 2019.
- Nicaragua. On November 6, 2017, Elaine Duke, the Secretary of Homeland Security, announced termination of the TPS program for Nicaragua with a delayed effective date of 12 months.
- Honduras. While the TPS designation has not been revoked for Honduras, it has been threatened, and Duke approved the automatic renewal of the program until July 5, 2018. What will happen following that date is not yet clear.
- Haiti. TPS was terminated for Haitians by Duke in November 2017, with an 18 month delayed effective date to allow for an “orderly transition.” Designation will officially terminate on July 22, 2019.
- Sudan. The TPS designation will end for Sudan on November 2, 2018.
When TPS designation officially ends (per the dates listed above), immigrants from these countries who are here legally based on their temporary protective status will be subject to deportation. While the current administration does not currently have the resources to deport the tens of thousands of people for whom TPS will end, arrests of immigrants are up, and “self-deportation” is being encouraged.
Work with an Immigration Attorney
If you are an immigrant who lives within the United States legally based on your TPS, and that status is going to end in the coming months and you want to remain within the United States, we recommend that you begin working with an experienced immigration attorney soon to explore your options and learn more about your potential for remaining within the U.S. legally. An experienced attorney may help you renew your TPS or even discover other forms of immigration benefits you may qualify for that may preserve your ability to remain in the United States. You can call our legal team at Ozment Law today at (615) 321-8888 to schedule a consultation and learn more about courses of action available to you.