Temporary Protected Status (TPS) Updates: Court Orders and TPS Extensions

March 12, 2019Court Case Retains TPS for Hondurans and Nepalese, for Now

On March 12, 2019, a federal court issued an order in Bhattarai et al. v. Nielsen, staying proceedings challenging the legality of the administration’s termination of Temporary Protected Status (TPS) for Honduras and Nepal.   This is a temporary reprieve for  individuals from those countries who would lose their ability to live and work legally in the U.S. when their TPS ended on June 24, 2019 (Nepal) and January 5, 2020 (Honduras).

Last October, the same court  enjoined the administration from carrying out its planned termination of TPS for citizens from El Salvador, Haiti, Nicaragua and Sudan in the Ramos v. Nielsen lawsuit.  The government’s appeal of that decision is still pending.

In the Bhattarai case, the administration and the plaintiffs agreed the case was so similar to the Ramos litigation that it made sense to agree to hold the case in abeyance  during the Ramos appeal.   In the stipulation, the administration agreed to treat the class of Honduran and Nepalese plaintiffs in the same way as it was ordered to treat the plaintiffs in the Ramos case.

As a result, until the Ramos case is finally resolved, TPS for eligible Hondurans and Nepalese will continue, and the administration will extend their work permits via notices in the Federal Register if their current ones expire during the ongoing litigation.

However, the best resolution for those with TPS would be passage of H.R. 6, the Dream and Promise Act of 2019which would provide many of them with a path to permanent legal status.   Hondurans have had TPS for twenty years, and Salvadorans for eighteen, during which time they have been working, paying taxes, having families, buying homes, and becoming solidly rooted members of our communities.   It makes sense from a humanitarian and an economic perspective to open a door through which long-term TPS holders can become permanent residents, and eventually full citizens of this country that is already their home.

March 8, 2019 TPS Extended for South Sudan

The administration has announced an extension of Temporary Protected Status (TPS) through November 2, 2020 for South Sudanese who currently have TPS or who meet the narrow eligibility criteria to apply despite having missed a prior re-registration or the initial registration period .

The timeframe for applying to re-register has not yet been announced.

March 1, 2019Government Complies with Court Order for El Salvadoran, Haitian, Nicaraguan and Sudanese TPS holders

In compliance with an October 3, 2018 injunction in Ramos v. Nielson, the Department of Homeland Security announced that it is extending through January 2, 2020  the validity of work permits and Temporary Protected Status (TPS) authorization for those with TPS  from El Salvador, Haiti, Nicaragua and Sudan.

TPS holders from these four countries will not have to re-register for TPS to benefit from the extension, as long as they continue to be eligible for TPS and they reregistered during the most recent re-registration period for their respective countries.  Further details are explained on this USCIS page.

Maine has many TPS holders from these countries who have long been members of our communities and workforce.  This a welcome reprieve not only for the affected individuals with TPS but also for their families, friends,  and employers.