337,000 Foreign Nationals Get Their ‘Temporary’ Stays Extended in U.S … Again
Proving once again that there’s nothing temporary about Temporary Protected Status (TPS), deportation waivers and work permits have been extended for a group of 337,000 foreign nationals in the U.S., pre-empting a court decision that could have timed them out.
Citizens of El Salvador, Nicaragua, Nepal and Honduras, who had agreed to go home once conditions in their countries returned to normal (as opposed to ideal), are being permitted to remain in the U.S. at least until the summer of 2024. If past is prologue their stays will be longer, much longer.
Extending TPS status long after the triggering event faded into history has become routine. This latest prolongation stands out because the Biden administration dispensed with even the pretense of evaluating conditions in those countries, as required by law.
As FAIR noted last year, Salvadorans seemingly enjoy permanent “temporary” refuge. Their Central American homeland was first designated for TPS in 2001 after an earthquake ravaged the country. “While the effects of this natural disaster were certainly devastating, it in no way constitutes 20 years of protected status under the guise of humanitarian relief,” FAIR’s report stated.
Tens of thousands of Haitians also received TPS extensions after their island was rocked by a quake 12 years ago.
Somalia is the reigning king of long-term TPS as Biden’s team granted yet another extension to Somali nationals last year. Somalia initially received a TPS designation way back in 1991.
By law, the secretary of the U.S. Department of Homeland Security is authorized to 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.”
The Trump administration tried to rein in TPS for hundreds of thousands of longtime migrants from El Salvador, Haiti, Nicaragua, Sudan, Honduras and Nepal. But lawsuits tied up those efforts in federal courts.
When attorneys for TPS holders announced last month that they had failed to reach a settlement, the Biden administration pre-empted the judicial system by issuing another round of blanket extensions.
Between the TPS program’s inception in 1991 and 2016, there have been 22 “temporary” designations — 15 of which have lasted for five or more years. There can be little doubt that nations granted the TPS designation since 2016 will likely keep that status for the foreseeable future.
Come hell or high water, TPS has become anything but temporary.