US Immigration Authorities Extends Protected Status for 6 Nationalities

Mimi Nguyen Ly
By Mimi Nguyen Ly
November 12, 2022Border Security
US Immigration Authorities Extends Protected Status for 6 Nationalities
A patrol car with the Department of Homeland Security logo blocks the street outside the Department of Veterans Affairs in Washington on July 27, 2017. (Paul J. Richards/AFP via Getty Images)

The U.S. government has extended deportation protections for hundreds of thousands of people from six countries who are in the United States.

The extension means that the Temporary Protected Status (TPS) for citizens of Haiti, El Salvador, Nicaragua, Sudan, Honduras, and Nepal will not expire on Dec. 31, as previously scheduled. The new deadline is June 30, 2024, according to a document filed by the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS), set to be formally published to the Federal Register on Nov. 16.

The Temporary Protected Status (TPS), established by Congress in 1990, is a temporary benefit that protects immigrants from certain designated countries. Fifteen countries are currently designated, although the latest extension only affects those from the aforementioned six countries.

Under the program, people of those designated countries are protected even if they were living in the United States illegally before the TPS designation. They are also granted work permits.

The Secretary of Homeland Security “may designate a foreign country for TPS due to conditions in the country that temporarily prevent the country’s nationals from returning safely, or in certain circumstances, where the country is unable to handle the return of its nationals adequately.” Such circumstances include natural disasters, armed conflicts, or other humanitarian crises.

Per the document, the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) announced the extension “to ensure its continued compliance with any relevant court orders,” amid two ongoing court cases.

The latest extension will affect about 392,000 people, of whom some 242,000 are citizens of El Salvador, according to USCIS data (pdf).

The DHS said in a statement the latest TPS extension decision was “consistent with DHS’s practice over the last four years.”

Salvadoran Ambassador to the United States Milena Mayorga reacted to the extension on Twitter, writing: “Thanks be to God.”

Honduran Foreign Minister Eduardo Reina said at a news conference that the extension provides Hondurans with TPS “peace of mind for another 18 months.”

TPS is temporary and does not provide the beneficiaries a path to permanent residency or any other immigration status. People who lose their TPS designation may be deported unless they are granted another immigration benefit.

Reuters contributed to this report.

From The Epoch Times

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