DHS Extends Temporary Protected Status for Somalia
The Department of Human Services (DHS) announced on Thursday an 18-month extension of the Temporary Protected Status (TPS) designation for Somalia. DHS’s announcement states:
This 18-month extension of Somalia’s designation for TPS permits current Somali TPS beneficiaries to re-register for TPS and remain in the United States with work authorization through March 17, 2020. To be eligible for TPS under Somalia’s current designation, along with meeting the other eligibility requirements, individuals must have continuously resided in the United States since May 1, 2012, and have been continuously physically present in the United States since September 18, 2012.
TPS was first designated for Somalia in 1991 following a civil war, and it has now been extended 23 times. MPR News reported approximately 500 Somalis in the U.S. currently have TPS, and many of them live in Minnesota.
Jaylani Hussein, executive director for the Council on American Islamic Relations, Minnesota (CAIR-MN), expressed disappointment with the announcement because the extension of TPS does not allow new people to apply for protection. “Nearly 500 TPS holders and their families today are relieved by the news of the extension. However, an estimated over a thousand will not be able to enroll to TPS. We will continue our efforts by urging congress to provide a path for Permanent Residency for TPS and Deferred Enforced Departure holders."
The Trump administration efforts to limit immigration includes recent announcements to end Temporary Protected Status (TPS) for El Salvador, Haiti, Honduras, Nepal, Nicaragua and Sudan. Below are the dates TPS will end for each country.
|Sudan||November 2, 2018|
|Nicaragua||January 5, 2019|
|Nepal||June 24, 2019|
|Haiti||July 22, 2019|
|El Salvador||September 9, 2019|
|Honduras||January 5, 2020|
Temporary Protected Status, or TPS, provides a mechanism for the Secretary of the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) to authorize temporary immigration status for people already in the United States when it is determined that they cannot return safely to their country.
TPS can be designated for countries experiencing armed conflict, natural disasters or other extraordinary conditions. In those situations, it is often either unsafe for citizens to return or their governments cannot absorb their return. TPS is authorized for a fixed period of time and subject to renewal or termination at the end of that period of time, at the discretion of the DHS secretary.
Currently, ten countries are designated for TPS, including El Salvador, Haiti, Honduras, Nepal, Nicaragua, Somalia, Sudan, South Sudan, Syria and Yemen. Some countries received TPS designation recently (such as Yemen in 2015) while others have had TPS designation for many years (such as Honduras, which was designated in 1999 and had been renewed until the announcment on May 4, 2018).
Nearly 200,000 Salvadorans live in the United States with TPS protection, the largest group.
When TPS Is Terminated
When TPS ends, those who had TPS status face an uncertain future in terms of their immigration status. Some people may be able to return to or reacquire the same immigration status they had before receiving TPS. Others may be eligible to acquire a new immigration status.
Individuals who entered the United States without inspection and were not eligible for other immigration benefits before becoming a TPS beneficiary will return to being undocumented when TPS is terminated and may be subject to removal, unless they are eligible for another immigration status.
Immigration advocates argue against ending TPS, saying the effects of a crisis can continue long after a natural disaster or war. But the administration argues that the protected status should cover the the immediate aftermath of disasters and not extend for decades.
Deferred Enforced Departure - Liberia
Deferred Enforced Departure (DED) is not a specific immigration status, but individuals covered by DED are not subject to removal. DED is at the president's discretion. DED for Liberia will end March 31, 2019. Please contact your immigration attorney or schedule a meeting with the Immigration Response Team at firstname.lastname@example.org to discuss your situation, and whether you are eligible to seek an alternative immigration status in the United States.
More information for Liberians in the U.S. under DED is available here.