By JOYCE ROTHERMEL
Over the past year or so, the U.S. Department of Homeland Security (DHS) has announced the termination of Temporary Protected Status (TPS) designations for nationals of Sudan, Nicaragua, Haiti, El Salvador, Nepal, and Honduras. TPS is a life-saving immigration status that allows foreign nationals to remain in the U.S. if, during the time they were in the U.S., something catastrophic happened in their country of origin, preventing their safe returns. Some examples are war, famine, natural disaster or an epidemic. TPS allows people to work legally and be protected from deportation.
- Sudan: TPS for Sudanese people received a 12-month termination in October 2017 . The last day of TPS for the Sudan will be Nov. 2, 2018.
- Nicaragua: Nicaragua received a 12-month termination in November 2017 . The last day of TPS for Nicaragua will be Jan. 5, 2019.
- Nepal: Nepal received a 12-month termination in April 2018 . The last day of TPS for Nepal will be June 24, 2019.
- Haiti: Haiti received an 18-month termination in November 2017 . The last day of TPS for Haiti will be July 22, 2019.
- El Salvador: El Salvador received an 18-month termination in January 2018 . The last day of TPS for El Salvador will be Sept. 9. 2019.
- Honduras: Honduras received an 18-month termination in May 2018 . The last day of TPS for Honduras will be Jan. 5, 2020.
In the wake of these termination decisions, several different cases have been filed in U.S district courts. The basis of most challenges is that the decisions stemmed from racial discrimination, violated required Immigration and Nationality Act (INA) and Administrative Procedures Act (APA) procedures, and infringed on the Constitutional rights of TPS beneficiaries. In addition, one lawsuit has been filed seeking to expand the rights of certain TPS beneficiaries to adjust to lawful permanent residence status in the United States, despite having initially entered without inspection.
On October 3, a federal district court for the Northern District of California granted a preliminary injunction that temporarily halts the termination of TPS for immigrants from four of these countries: El Salvador, Haiti, Nicaragua and Sudan. Nepal and Honduras do not appear in this injunction, meaning to date their termination dates are still in force.
Meanwhile, four other countries have received extensions from DHS.
- South Sudan: TPS for South Sudan received an 18-month extension in September 2017 . The next decision date for TPS for South Sudan will be March 3, 2019.
- Syria: Syria received an 18-month extension in January 2018 .
The next decision date for TPS for Syria will be Aug. 1, 2019.
- Yemen: Yemen received an 18-month extension in July 2018 . The next decision date for TPS for Yemen will be Jan. 3, 2020.
- Somalia: Somalia received an 18-month extension in July 2018 .
The next decision date for TPS for Somalia will be Jan. 17, 2020.
Until Congress passes comprehensive immigration reform, many immigrants who have now made their homes and established their roots in the U.S. must rely on the courts for justice.
Joyce Rothermel serves on the Editorial Collective for The New People.
(TMC newspaper VOL. 48 No. 9 November 2018. All rights reserved)