A Court’s Decision is Changing the Future of TPS Holders


What is TPS? How does it protect some immigrants? What did the Federal Court do this week that puts at risk for thousands of immigrants and their families?

Attorney Jeff Peek answers all these questions and discusses how TPS holders need to start looking at other options.

What is TPS? 

TPS stands for Temporary Protective Status. The president can grant to specific countries when they have disasters, hurricanes, earthquakes, civil wars, famines, and others the nationals’ eligibility to be in the United States and work for a limited time. Some examples are El Salvador, Honduras, Haiti, Yemen, Sudan, and Nicaragua. 

Generally, it’s granted for two years at a time, and most presidents have kept renewing, and people are allowed to stay here until conditions in their home country improve. 

What’s been happening with TPS?

In 2017 President Trump was one of the first presidents ever to end TPS. Lawsuits were immediately filed, saying his motivations were racial. Therefore, that was not an adjust decision. The ninth circuit recently gave the green light to Trump’s administration to continue ending TPS, that there was no evidence of racial motivations. 

Therefore, it puts TPS holders at risk, especially those from El Salvador, Haiti, Nicaragua, Sudan, but eventually for all the countries. 

The USCIS has extended TPS through January 1, 2021, and for some countries, a little further. 

What does this mean?

There could be up to 400,000 people who are under TPS currently become undocumented citizens. TPS holders need to talk to an attorney immediately to start looking at other options. Especially if you are married to U.S. citizens or have a U.S. citizen child who is 21 years old or married a permanent resident. Others might have great jobs, and the employer willing to sponsor that’s another option. But the ninth circuit decision pretty much spells the end for TPS.

Can the decision be reversible? 

Now, the attorneys have announced they’re going to file and have the hearing considered “en banc.” That’s just a fancy Latin legal word that means to have the entire nine circuit for a hearing. I don’t know if that’ll be granted or not. They could also try to appeal it to the Supreme court. All these things take time. 

Another Court Decision Regarding TPS  

Another decision that came out from a different court affecting TPS. TPS holders get travel permits. You can apply for a travel permit called advanced parole, which allows you to travel outside the U.S. and come back in a preapproved reentry.

For the past several years, immigrants have been able to do that in that subsequent reentry on that travel permit counts as a lawful admission, which then makes them eligible for adjustment of status. Adjustment of status is just the ability to get permanent residency here in the United States, through a child or a family member, or even an employer. The new court decision says advanced parole does not count as an inspection. Therefore, you will not be allowed to adjust status through those family members, which it’s pretty disappointing news.

It is bad news all around for TPS today. However, let’s leave it on a high note. We’ve got an election in a month and a half, so hopefully, you’re registered to vote. If you’re a U.S. citizen, get out and make your voice heard. 

If you are a TPS holder, you will need to contact an attorney right away. Please reach out to us, and we would love to help you navigate through these changes. Contact us at (512) 399-2311 or fill out our contact form on our website, and someone from our team will be in touch. 

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