Under the Temporary Protected Status (TPS) program, 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.” For approximately 2,500 Nicaraguans in the United States, this protection will come to an end following a recent announcement by the Department of Homeland Security.
Individuals granted TPS are not removable from the United States, can obtain employment authorization in the United States, and can be granted travel authorization. Nicaraguans covered by TPS will have until January 5, 2019, before they are required to leave the country. At present, there are 57,000 Hondurans, 50,000 Haitians, and 200,000 Salvadorans in the United States under TPS. Specific plans for these individuals—whose TPS is due to expire in 2018—were not included in the recent announcement from the Department of Homeland Security. As a result, the TPS designation for Hondurans is automatically extended through July 5, 2018. The Department of Homeland Security has until Thanksgiving Day to announce its plans for the Haitian TPS beneficiaries.
The intent behind the TPS program is to provide affected individuals with assistance on a temporary basis. There are currently 10 countries designated for TPS: El Salvador, Haiti, Honduras, Nepal, Nicaragua, Somalia, Sudan, South Sudan, Syria, and Yemen.
Ogletree Deakins’ Immigration Practice Group will continue to monitor the Department of Homeland Security’s updates on the TPS program.