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Temporary Protected Status Extended for El Salvador, Haiti, Nicaragua and Sudan Nationals

Immigration and Business Law

On March 1, 2019, the Department of Homeland Security published a Federal Register Notice that Temporary Protected Status for nationals of El Salvador, Haiti, Nicaragua and Sudan has been temporarily preserved. TPS is granted to certain groups of people in the wake of natural disasters, wars, outbreaks of disease, and other catastrophes that would make it difficult for them to return safely to their home countries. Government officials periodically review the program to decide whether to extend it, and most groups have received regular extensions in the past.

Announced over the past year, TPS for all four countries have been terminated by the Trump administration, with El Salvador’s and Haiti’s expiring on July 22, 2019, Nicaragua’s expiring on January 5, 2019, and Sudan’s the earliest at November 9, 2018. Terminating TPS for these countries will end protected status for more than 300,000, leaving less than 80,000 people in the program.

This is response to the October 2018 injunction against the DHS where the District Court judge ruled that the government has failed to establish any if harm if “the status quo is maintained during the pendency of this litigation”. The Judge also found substantial evidence that the administration lacked “any explanation or justification” to end the “temporary protected status” designations for immigrants from those countries. Given the ongoing litigation, TPS for the four countries will remain in place until further notice. DHS will not terminate the TPS designations of these countries until there is a final, non-appealable judicial order permitting DHS to do so. If DHS is permitted to proceed with the TPS terminations, it will provide a 120-day notice and transition period.

If at the end of the litigation DHS is permitted to move forward with TPS terminations, TPS status and work authorization will terminate either 120 days after the final court order, or on the TPS country’s original termination date, whichever is later. At this point, nationals of these four countries can continue to extend their work authorization and travel documents.

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