Temporary Protected Status in Jeopardy

By Patricia Elizee, Esq.

On Monday September 14, 2020, a 3- judge panel from the 9th U.S. circuit Court of Appeals ruled that President Donald Trump has the right to end the Temporary Protected Status policy also knows as TPS. TPS was established in 1990 by congress and was put into place to aid nationals of a country which temporarily need protection due to the fact that their native country is unsafe and unable to handle the return of these individuals.

The September 14, 2020, ruling allows the Trump Administration to remove the protection of immigrants from Haiti, Sudan, Nicaragua, and El Salvador. Any immigrants from Haiti, Sudan, and Nicaragua which are residing in the U.S. under TPS may be deported by March 2021 and the El Salvador immigrants which make up the largest group of TPS recipients may be deported by November 2021. Nationals of a country may be granted TPS for the following reasons:


1. Ongoing armed conflict (such as civil war)

2. An environmental disaster (such as earthquake or hurricane), or an epidemic

3. Other extraordinary and temporary conditions


TPS allows people experiencing hardship to feel safe from deportation and gives them the opportunity to attain employment in the U.S. and to receive travel authorization as well. In order to qualify for TPS you needed to meet the following criteria:


1. Be a national of the foreign country with a TPS designation (or if stateless, have last habitually resided in a country with a TPS designation);

2. Be continuously physically present in the United States since the effective date of designation;

3. Have continuously resided in the United States since a date specified by the Secretary of Homeland Security; and

4. Not be inadmissible to the United States or be barred from asylum for certain criminal or national security-related reasons, such as individuals who have been convicted of any felony or two or more misdemeanors.


TPS doesn’t only have benefits for those who received the status, but for the rest of the country as well. TPS holders play a vital role in the economy as they have a high employment rate. They were presented with better job opportunities once they were granted TPS which has major economic advantages for the U.S. as well.


The country could see a major economic impact by losing billions of dollars if they deport these individuals, not to mention the fact that over 100,000 individuals have been essential workers throughout the global pandemic. By removing their work authorization, they wouldn’t have the opportunity to fill these positions. Trump Administration granted these individuals the right to stay in the United States until 2021. However, there is still hope for TPS.


The National TPS Alliance organizers stated that they were going to request a review of the case and the fight to keep their status is not over. If a new administration is put in place, they would have the choice of maintaining the program. The An 11-judge panel hearing can be requested, and the case can also be appealed to the Supreme Court.


TPS has been around for over 30 years and if removed can be tragic to the lives of many immigrants. Many of them have been given a safe haven and forcing them to go back to their native countries and start over isn’t fair especially after they have built a family and started a career here. TPS holders have had over 270,000 U.S. citizen born children which causes a major dilemma since they will either be separated from their parents, or they will have to relocate to their parents’ home country which could have major psychological consequences.


Patricia Elizee is the managing partner of Elizee Law Firm, an immigration and family law firm located at 1110 Brickell Avenue, suite 315, Miami, Florida 33131. She can be reach at Ph: 305-371-8846.

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