What can you do if you or your employee is one of the 248,000 who will lose their work permit and will be forced to leave the U.S. due to the Trump administration’s decision to end Temporary Protected Status (TPS) for four countries? Or if you or your employee is one of 67,220 individuals facing the same fate, given that TPS is scheduled to end for four more countries this year with no indication from the administration about whether those TPS designations will be extended?
If you or an employee are impacted, the Alcorn Immigration Law team can help you apply for an employment-based green card if you or your employee resides in California or 12 other states. If an employment-based green card is not an option, TPS holders should explore family-based green cards, particularly if you have a U.S.-born child who is at least 21 years old. Humanitarian options exist as well.
If you start the process now, there still may be a chance that you or your employee can obtain a green card before TPS ends and you or your employee will be forced to leave the country. So, contact us now. Many employers are taking this opportunity to help employees and their families remain in the U.S. after the TPS designation for their home country ends.
Normally, an employer cannot sponsor an employee for a green card if that individual came to the U.S. illegally—unless that individual arrived before 2001 and the green card process began before 2001. Now, thanks to two federal appellate court rulings, TPS holders in 13 states are eligible for green cards. This means that construction workers, chefs, grocery store workers, child care providers, domestic help, and other skilled and unskilled workers who hold TPS can qualify for green cards.
The 13 states where TPS holders currently eligible for green cards are:
In February, TPS recipients, the American Immigration Council, and the Northwest Immigrant Rights Project filed a class-action lawsuit against U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) and Department of Homeland Security (DHS) in federal court in New York. The lawsuit seeks to force immigration officials to allow all TPS holders to qualify for green cards or work visas—not just those in the 13 states listed above.
Established in 1990, TPS enables foreign nationals in the U.S. to stay and work temporarily in the U.S. if an event renders their home country unsafe to return to, such as a natural disaster, epidemic or armed conflict. The Secretary of Homeland Security can designate or extend TPS. DHS oversees USCIS.
DHS formally announced it will not renew TPS for El Salvador, Haiti, Nicaragua, and Sudan. In January, DHS extended TPS status for Syria.
At least 60 days before a country’s TPS end date, the Secretary of Homeland Security must decide whether the conditions for TPS continue to exist. If the Secretary fails to make a determination within that timeframe, TPS automatically extends for 6 additional months.
The list of TPS countries in order of their scheduled end date with the earliest date listed first:
|COUNTRY||TPS END DATE||ESTIMATED # WITH TPS|
|June 24, 2018|
|July 5, 2018|
|Sept. 3, 2018|
|Sept. 17, 2018|
|Nov. 2, 2018|
|Jan. 5, 2019|
|May 2, 2019|
|July 22, 2019|
|Sept. 9, 2019|
|Sept. 30, 2019||5,800|
Sources: USCIS, Center for Migration Studies
We Can Help
The Alcorn Immigration Law team recommends you take action now to ensure you or the TPS holder you employ can remain in the U.S. Contact us for a consultation. We can help you determine the best path forward for you, your family, or your employees.