DHS temporarily extends temporary protected status for 4 countries

1 Mar 19

UNITED STATES

The Department of Homeland Security has published a notice in the Federal Register announcing that it will further extend temporary protected status, or TPS, for El Salvador, Haiti, Nicaragua and Sudan in order to comply with a temporary injunction in an ongoing lawsuit.

Key points:

  • The validity of employment authorization documents for holders of TPS for El Salvador, Haiti, Nicaragua and Sudan will automatically be extended through Jan. 2, 2020.
  • Forms I-94 will be automatically extended through Jan. 2, 2020 for those expiring on designated dates so long as the TPS holder properly re-registered during the most recent re-registration period.
  • If the injunction remains in place, DHS will issue notices extending the TPS designation every nine months.
  • If the court injunction is reversed in a final order, DHS will terminate TPS for the four countries either 120 days after the date of the final order or on the originally scheduled termination date, whichever is later. The originally scheduled termination dates are: El Salvador – Sept. 9, 2019; Haiti – July 22, 2019; Nicaragua – Jan. 5, 2019; Sudan – Nov. 2, 2018.

Background: Following the secretary of Homeland Security’s decisions in 2018 and early 2019 to end TPS for six countries, several families filed a lawsuit challenging the legality of the decision for four of the countries: El Salvador, Haiti, Nicaragua and Sudan.

On Oct. 3, the court enjoined DHS from terminating the program and ordered the agency to maintain the TPS program for the four countries while the lawsuit proceeds. To comply with the order, DHS took steps on Oct. 31 to maintain the TPS designation for the four countries and to extend employment authorization documents for Nicaragua and Sudan through April 2, 2019 because TPS was soon to expire for those countries. Today’s DHS announcement covers all four countries, provides a further extension, and explains how the agency will move forward, depending on whether and how long the injunction remains in place.

The case is Ramos v. Nielsen, U.S. District Court for the Northern District of California, No. 18-CV-01554. A separate lawsuit was recently filed by TPS holders challenging the termination for Honduras and Nepal.

BAL Analysis: Employers should be aware of the automatic extension and refer to the Federal Register notice for instructions on determining which employment authorization documents are automatically extended and how it affects Form I-9 employment eligibility verification, E-Verify and the USCIS Systematic Alien Verification for Entitlements (SAVE) processes.

This alert has been provided by the BAL U.S. Practice group. For additional information, please contact berryapplemanleiden@balglobal.com.

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