For those who have been placed under the Temporary Protected Status (TPS) program, it can be a difficult place to be. Although it provides refuge from a dangerous situation in one’s country of origin, there is a good chance that you’re wondering what will happen to you and your family and may even be fearing deportation. You are anxious about returning to your home country. With the recent ruling on the Temporary Protected Status, many immigrants have felt fear. Keep reading for more information on what this new ruling means and how it will affect immigrants. 

Temporary Protected Status and How It Works

The purpose of Temporary Protected Status is to protect individuals who are not natives of the United States with a place of refuge, as their country may not be safe to return to. The Secretary of Homeland Security may grant this status to countries that are experiencing armed conflict, an environmental disaster, an epidemic or other extraordinary situations. Those who qualify for this status must already be in the United States and will be free from removal from the country. They may also be given employment authorization to legally work in the country. Furthermore, they can also receive travel authorization. Once an individual is given this status, that person cannot be detained due to his or her immigration status, yet it does not mean that the individual will be given permanent residence. However, if one is given Temporary Protected Status, that person may still apply for a nonimmigrant status or other immigration benefits and protection. 

The New Temporary Protected Status Ruling and What It Means for Individuals

As of September 14, 2020, the Ninth Circuit of Appeals made drastic changes to the Temporary Protected Status. People from the countries of Sudan, Nicaragua, Haiti, Honduras and El Salvador are no longer eligible for this status. This does not mean that those who currently are under this status will immediately lose it. However, the deadline for exiting the United States for those from Honduras, Nepal, Nicaragua and Sudan is March 5, 2021. For those from El Salvador, the deadline will most likely be November 5, 2021. 

What Are the Next Steps in Court?

Although the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals put out its decision, it may not be final. Many community and legal advocates plan to file lawsuits with the Supreme Court. There are many uncertainties as to what may happen after these lawsuits are filed, especially as the United States faces the 2020 presidential election. Yet, even if these lawsuits are successful, it is unlikely that the government will keep the program. 

Ways to Win Permanent Residence

This program was never meant to be a permanent solution, hence its name. Yet, those who are currently under the Temporary Protected Status may qualify for permanent residence in the United States. For instance, those who are married to a citizen or those who have a child over the age of 21 can qualify as an “immediate relative.” (This option is available to individuals who have gained legal entry into the country.) Applying for permanent residency may mean that they have to return to their country of origin before being able to complete their permanent resident interview. Because this person has close relatives that are United States citizens, it may prove beneficial in helping the individual gain permanent residency. The individuals under this status must go through immigration court before they are required to leave the United States. Since they are documented, they have more advantages than immigrants who are not. If the person who is under the Temporary Protection Status has lived in the United States for 10 consecutive years, has good moral character and has a relative who is a U.S. citizen, then he or she can apply for permanent residence. 

There are other options to try as well as applying for permanent residence. Several immigration programs exist to help families stay together and avoid deportation. But, if you need further assistance, then you need to seek out an immigration attorney. It is your best chance to legally gain permanent residence, as an attorney will prepare the proper paperwork for your case. Seek out a law firm that focuses on immigration law. The Law Offices of Grant Bettencourt can help if you need help to legally work or live in the U.S., allowing your children to legally go to school in the U.S., you or a family member are facing deportation, you have a relative in immigration jail or you or a family member need to obtain a green card – contact us today.