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Immigration Law

Expert: Ending TPS Divides Families

Maya Rhodan, Time Magazine, Nov. 7, 2017 - "The Trump Administration is moving to end a program that allowed some Nicaraguan citizens who fled after a natural disaster to stay in the U.S., as part of an overall stricter approach to immigration. The decision to end temporary protected status for Nicaraguan refugees means that some 2,500 people will no longer be permitted to live in the United States as of Jan. 5, 2019, and similar protections for other countries could end soon as well. Acting Homeland Security Secretary Elaine Duke announced Monday that temporary protected status will be extended for around 57,000 Hondurans for six months after the current designation expires in January. But in a statement, she said that extension was needed to assess conditions in Honduras. Similar decisions on the status of 190,000 El Salvadorans and 50,000 Haitians living in the U.S. have yet to be made, and Vox reports that the State Department believes the status should be ended for all four countries, which account for most of the 300,000 people who have temporary protected status in the U.S. today. ... Temporary protected status is not a pathway to legal U.S. citizenship — though those who receive it are safe from deportation, they do not receive green cards and they are not eligible to apply for citizenship or legal permanent residence simply because they’re free to stay. “Each individual, if they want to transition from temporary protected status to a green card has to qualify within one of the existing green card categories such as marrying a U.S. citizen or having an employer sponsor them,” explains Cornell Law professor Stephen Yale-Loehr. ” There’s no easier path to a green card for people who have temporary protected status.” ... Yale-Loehr says taking the status away has presented political challenges for administrations over the years. “Individuals from those countries settle here, they have roots, they marry U.S. citizens, they have U.S. citizen children,” he says. “So if you take it away then you’re dividing families and sending some people back to their home country.”"