The US Customs and Immigration Services (USCIS) and Department of Homeland Security (DHS) Thursday announced that it will extend Temporary Protected Status (TPS) for people from El Salvador, Haiti, Honduras, Nepal, Nicaragua and Sudan until June 30, 2024. This status was previously set to expire on December 31, 2022.
TPS is a protective status for migrants from countries beset with armed conflict or impacted by natural disasters. It allows people to live and work in the US legally and without fear of deportation. According to a 2021 report to Congress from USCIS, there are almost 400,000 people with TPS status from the countries given an extension. This includes over 240,000 people from El Salvador, over 75,000 people from Honduras and over 50,000 people from Haiti. “Tonight, hundreds of thousands of families who have lived in limbo for so long can rest a little easier,” said Cristina Morales, a TPS recipient from El Salvador. “The Biden administration acted to extend TPS now because of the strength of our community’s voice demanding greater protection.”
In 2020, a federal court granted the Trump administration the ability to end TPS protections. Since then, people with TPS protections have been in a legal battle to protect their legal resident status. “TPS holders still do not have permanent residence, along with all the civil rights and political equality they deserve,” said ACLU Foundation of Northern California attorney Emi Maclean. She explained, “Most members of this community have lived in this country for decades. They deserve lawful permanent residence, not life lived in 18-month increments. TPS holders, the TPS Alliance, and their allies will not cease until that demand has been met.”