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On June 7, 2021, the U.S. Supreme Court ruled that TPS (Temporary Protected Status) holders who entered the U.S. without inspection, or authorization, are not eligible to apply for green cards, lawful permanent resident (LPR) status, in the U.S. While this is devastating for many individuals who are otherwise, and would later become, eligible to apply for green cards based on family or employer sponsorship, this decision does not affect TPS generally. Here is what you should know about the Court’s decision.
The Sanchez decision does not affect TPS status!
The Sanchez decision does not affect an individual’s TPS. TPS remains in effect for all affected countries, which include: Myanmar (Burma), El Salvador, Haiti, Honduras, Nepal, Nicaragua, Somalia, Sudan, South Sudan, Syria, Venezuela, and Yemen.
The Sanchez decision does not impact all TPS holders.
While the Court’s decision is devastating for many TPS holders and their families, this decision does not apply to individuals who have already been inspected and admitted into the U.S., such as, for example, those who were admitted to the U.S. on visa and later obtained TPS. This decision also does not apply retroactively to individuals who have already been granted their LPR status according to prior good law in their circuits. The Court’s decision impacts only those who entered without inspection.
What does the Sanchez decision mean?
Generally, to be eligible to apply for a green card, an individual must have been “inspected and admitted or paroled” into the U.S. The Sanchez decision ruled that TPS holders who entered without inspection and have a pathway to LPR status, such as through employment or family sponsorship, are now ineligible to apply for LPR status because of their unlawful entry into the U.S. This is because, the Supreme Court decided, individuals with TPS who entered the U.S. without authorization do not satisfy the “admission” requirement. Because many TPS holders entered the U.S. without a visa, for example, this decision closes the door on TPS holders’ ability to apply for a green card if they had a pathway to do so in the future.
How does the Sanchez decision affect advance parole?
Advance parole gives people in various statuses permission to temporarily travel abroad and return. The Supreme Court’s decision does not address the issue of whether a TPS holder who travels on advance parole is eligible to apply for a green card. However, in August 2020, the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) adopted a negative decision, Matter of Z‑R‑Z‑C, which found that TPS holders who travel on advance parole do not satisfy the “inspected and admitted or parole” requirement necessary for applying for a green card. This undid USCIS’ long-standing practice and treatment of TPS holders’ travel on advance parole as eligible for green cards. As such, there is currently no positive guidance which enables TPS holders who travel on advance parole to be eligible for green cards.
The Sanchez decision is not in effect yet.
This decision has not taken effect yet, but will usually take effect about a month from its issuance. We can expect the decision to take effect soon.
Seek Legal Advice
If you are a TPS holder, or a former TPS holder, and have questions about how the Court’s decision impacts you, it is important to seek legal advice. Visit iAmerica.org/legalhelp.
It is also important for individuals in TPS to investigate whether they may be eligible for any other type of immigration relief and, if not, to explore their options affecting everything from mortgages to family arrangements. Online tools to help find a path that’s right for you and to make a plan are available here.
What You Can Do Now
Take action. This decision underscores the need for Congress to act and pass the Dream and Promise Act, or a provision allowing any undocumented immigrants, or TPS holders, to adjust status without regard to how they originally entered the U.S. Call Congress and urge them to act quickly to provide a path to citizenship for TPS holders, Dreamers, essential workers and the 11 million undocumented: 1-888-204-8353.
Lawsuits concerning TPS continue to make their way through the courts. Stay tuned for updates on how these lawsuits might impact TPS.
DHS Extends TPS and Work Authorization Until October 4, 2021!
On December 9, 2020, the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) issued a notice temporarily extending work authorization for TPS holders from El Salvador, Haiti, Nicaragua, Sudan, Honduras, and Nepal through October 4, 2021, while litigation is pending. This means that TPS holders from El Salvador, Haiti, Nicaragua, Sudan, Honduras, and Nepal are able to continue to legally work in the U.S. even if their work permits have a date on them that has already expired.
What is Happening with the Pending Ramos Court Case?
The Trump Administration has attempted to terminate TPS for a number of countries affecting the immigration status of hundreds of thousands of immigrants. On September 14, 2020, a federal court of appeals ruled in favor of the Trump Administration and reversed a court order in the Ramos v. Nielsen lawsuit that had stopped the termination of Temporary Protected Status (TPS) designations for El Salvador, Haiti, Nicaragua and Sudan. The same court order stopped the government from deciding to terminate TPS for Honduras and Nepal. The Ramos lawyers have challenged the decision, asking the Court for a re-hearing on the case and have announced that they will appeal this decision to the U.S. Supreme Court, if necessary. As such, for now, the Court’s September 14, 2020 decision is not final.
How Could the Ramos Court Case Affect DHS’ Extension of TPS?
Current TPS holders will be able to retain their legal status and work authorization either until October 4, 2021 or until the Court issues a final decision in the Ramos case. Still, the federal government has told the court that it will give TPS holders at least 120 days notice from the effective date of the court order, except for nationals of El Salvador who will be given up to 12 months, before their TPS status is terminated. As such, even if the court were to issue a negative decision on TPS today, for example, TPS would remain in effect for Haiti, Nicaragua, Sudan, Honduras, and Nepal at least until April 6, 2021 and for El Salvador at least until December 7, 2021. It could be longer than that depending on the length of the appeals process and when the final order is handed down. The timing for terminations could also be affected by litigation in other cases. *Note that TPS for Haitians also remains in place because of a court order in a case called Saget v. Trump.
For Now, TPS Remains in Effect for All Affected Countries!
While the Ramos Court Case is pending, work authorization for TPS holders from El Salvador, Haiti, Nicaragua, Sudan, Honduras, and Nepal is valid through October 4, 2021.
TPS Holders Should Still Prepare for Termination of TPS
TPS holders must immediately prepare for the termination TPS. It is important for individuals in TPS status to investigate whether they may be eligible for any other type of immigration relief and, if not, to explore their options affecting everything from mortgages to family arrangements. Online tools are available to help find a path that’s right for you and to make a plan.
On July 6, 2021, the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) announced the extension and redesignation of TPS for Yemen for 18 months through March 3, 2023. This means that many more Yemini in the U.S. may be eligible for TPS. And those who have already been granted TPS may continue to have protection from deportation and authorization to work.
Here are important deadlines for Yemenis in the U.S.:
- Individuals who have already been granted TPS under Yemen's prior designation will need to timely re-register during the 60-day re-registration period which runs from July 9, 2021 through September 7, 2021.
- Significantly, individuals who believe they may qualify for TPS under this new designation must apply during the initial registration period that runs from July 9, 2021 and through the full length of the re-designation period ending March 3, 2023. Individuals who are Yemeni nationals, or noncitizens having no nationality who last habitually resided in Yemen; who have continuously resided in the U.S. since July 5, 2021; and who have been continuously physically present in the U.S. since September 4, 2021, may be eligible to register for TPS. The Federal Register Notice also describes the other eligibility criteria applicants must meet.
See the Federal Register Notice for more details and links to the required application forms.
1. What is TPS?
TPS, or Temporary Protected Status, allows people from certain countries to live and work in the United States during a humanitarian crisis in their home countries.
2. What type of humanitarian crisis would lead to TPS?
Here are some reasons the Secretary of Homeland Security (DHS) can authorize TPS for countries:
- Armed conflict, such as civil war, threatening people’s safety
- Environmental disasters such as a hurricane or earthquake that disrupts living conditions
- Extraordinary and temporary conditions in the country that prevent the safe return of the population
3. How long are TPS grants?
The Secretary of DHS can authorize TPS for6, 12, or 18 months at a time. This authorization can be extended or terminated.
4. How many people have TPS?
It’s estimated, as of September 2017, that over 320,000 peoplein the U.S. have TPS.
5. Who are the people who have TPS?
People with TPS are essential workers who have lived and worked in the U.S. for years and even decades. Many people with TPS work in construction, the hotel and restaurant industry, landscaping and childcare. Many also operate their own businesses. About 100,000 TPS holders live in homes that they own and pay mortgages to U.S. banks
6. What ties do TPS holders have to the U.S.?
TPS holders from El Salvador, Honduras and Haiti have about 273,000 U.S. citizen children. Also 10% of the Salvadoran TPS holders are married to a legal resident of the U.S.
7. Which countries have TPS?
8. What are the requirements to receive TPS?
- Arrived in the U.S. and continued to live in the U.S. since a specific date;
- Filed an application with a filing fee and passed security and criminal checks.
9. What would be the economic impact on the U.S. of ending TPS?
According to an April 2017 study, ending TPS would cause a reduction of $45.2 billion to the U.S. Gross Domestic Product (GDP) and a $6.9 billion reduction in Social Security and Medicare contributions over the next decade. Ending TPS would also cause employers to face approximately $967 million in the turnover costs of replacing and training laid off TPS holders.
10. Why should we keep fighting to preserve TPS?
TPS offers humanitarian protection to people unable to return to their home countries due to natural disasters, war and other extraordinary situations. Providing this protection is a moral imperative. While preserving TPS brings economic benefits to the U.S., it would also allow American families to stay together--U.S. citizen children would remain with their parents and grandparents.
Source: Catholic Legal Immigration Network, Inc.
Temporary Protected Status (TPS) allows people from certain countries to live and work in the United States for a temporary period of time. TPS does not lead to permanent immigration status in the United States. In the past, people granted TPS often have been allowed to extend their TPS status every 18 months. However, the Trump administration has voiced its intent to limit TPS extensions.
While we continue to fight for TPS extensions, it’s important to consider whether you might qualify for another type of immigration status. Now is the time to look into whether you qualify.
It is important that you consult with a reputable legal services provider as soon as possible. iAmerica has a list of legal services providers. Make sure you find a trustworthy legal services provider.
I have TPS now. Can I apply for another type of immigration status?
Yes. Many people who have TPS are eligible for other types of immigration status and benefits. If you are interested in looking into whether you qualify for other types of immigration status during the time that you have TPS, it’s important to seek the assistance of a reputable legal services provider. iAmerica has a list of legal services providers.
How do I know if I qualify for other types of immigration status?
To get a general idea of some of the requirements for other types of immigration benefits, use iAmerica’s checklist of eligibility requirements for various types of immigration status. This is not a complete list and it’s important to check with a reputable legal services provider to learn whether you qualify for another type of immigration status.
Is there a deadline to apply for other types of immigration status?
It is important to apply for another type of immigration status as soon as possible. If you currently have TPS, you will be “in status” until the date TPS expires. In many cases, being “in status” will help you when you apply for another type of immigration status.
Don’t forget, filing for another immigration status now while you have TPS may allow you to take advantage of other immigration benefits in the future and preserve your ability to live and work in the United States.
This checklist is a partial list of possible immigration options.
You may be eligible for immigration benefits that will allow you to stay in the U.S. Check all the boxes that apply to you and then contact a legal services provider.
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Having a family safety plan is a good idea under any circumstance. In case of an unfortunate event that a love one is detained or deported, you can protect your family by having a plan. This tool can help you prepare your family, manage your property and make arrangement for your debts. It’s always better to have a plan and not use it than to be unprepared.