Biden Administration Extends “Temporary Protected Status” Policy for 337,000 Migrants
On Thursday, November 10th, the Biden Administration announced that it would be extending the deportation protections and work permits of approximately 337,000 immigrants from El Salvador, Haiti, Honduras, Nicaragua, and Nepal.
The Department of Homeland Security announced in a notice that migrants from the above-mentioned countries would be able to continue living and working in the US legally under the Temporary Protected Status (TPS) policy until 2024.
The TPS extension by the Department of Homeland Security will last until June 30, 2024.
TPS is typically granted to migrants from countries that are deemed unsafe for reasons that include armed conflict and humanitarian crises. While TPS allows migrants to work and live in the U.S. legally, it does not create a path to permanent residency or citizenship.
The decision to extend the TPS period occurred while there is an ongoing legal matter between the Biden Administration and the lawyers for the TPS holders. The Trump Administration unsuccessfully tried to have TPS programs canceled for migrants from the aforementioned countries. This is because the efforts to terminate TPS were legally challenged and blocked by federal courts.
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The federal courts found that the terminations were not justified and were rooted in racism. However, a 9th Circuit Court of Appeals allowed the Trump Administration to continue with the termination of the TPS programs. This ruling did not take effect because the attorneys for the TPS holders requested that the matter be heard once more before a panel of active judges.
The Biden Administration entered negotiations to reach a compromise with attorneys for the TPS holders, however, no deal could be agreed upon. Both sides now wait to hear whether the 9th Circuit Court will accept that the matter is heard again.
“Despite today’s extension, the Biden administration is still defending Trump’s racist TPS termination decisions in court, which, unless the Biden administration acts, will remain on the books,” said Ahilan Arulanantham, the co-director of the Center for Immigration Law and Policy at the UCLA School of Law. Arulanantham noted that the TPS extension was an important victory but called it an “interim” one.
Democratic legislators have called for TPS holders to be allowed to gain permanent residence, to legalize migrants illegally in the US. Some of the TPS holders have held that status for over 20 years.