Sep 17, 2020
Appeals Court Rules Trump Administration Can End Temporary Protected Status (TPS)
Joshua H. Rolf
The United States Circuit Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit ruled Monday that President Trump can put an end to Temporary Protected Status (TPS), which would deny more than 300,000 individuals the ability to remain in the United States legally. Under the program, recipients, who are not granted any pathway to lawful permanent residency or U.S. citizenship, are permittedto remain in the United States and obtain work authorization due to their home countries’ conditions. This decision could lead to the expulsion of citizens of El Salvador by November 2021, with protection for those from Sudan, Nicaragua, and Haiti ending as soon as March. It is likely that this decision will also affect the status of TPS recipients from Honduras and Nepal, who filed a separate lawsuit that was suspended in 2019 pending the outcome of the Ninth Circuit case.
Created by Congress in 1990, TPS requires periodic renewal by the Secretary of Homeland Security to remain in effect. TPS protects individuals already in the United States when disaster or political turmoil strike their home countries. For example, thousands of Haitian nationals received TPS after the 2010 earthquake devastated their home country. In seeking to end TPS, the Trump administration asserts that many of the countries from which TPS recipients originate have long recovered from the circumstances that justified the initial grant of TPS and that, in many cases, the program should have been phased-out years ago.
This latest ruling will likely be appealed to the Supreme Court. However, should the decision be ultimately upheld and the Trump administration choose to terminate TPS, those who depend on it would have to search for other ways to remain in the United States legally or be required to depart. It is also worth noting that separate litigation, regarding Haitian nationals in the U.S. under TPS specifically, is ongoing in the 2nd U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals in New York.
If you or a family member may be affected by this policy, please contact the attorneys at Green & Spiegel, LLC at (215) 395-8959 to best understand your options.