Since the 1990s, the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) has granted TPS designation to individuals from 10 countries fleeing violence, natural disasters, or conditions that prevent them from being able to go back to their home countries. The provisional immigration program has granted work authorization to recipients, allowing them to stay in the United States legally for decades. The program does not grant permanent legal status.

On November 6, 2017 the Trump Administration Acting DHS Secretary Elaine Duke announced that the TPS designation for Nicaragua would be terminated “with a delayed effective date of 12 months to allow for an orderly transition before the designation terminates on January 5, 2019.”

Ms. Duke also announced that DHS will automatically extend the TPS designation for Hondurans for six months from the current January 5, 2018 expiration date to July 5, 2018, at which point the organization will again determine whether to grant another extension.

Both Honduras and Nicaragua received initial TPS designations in 1999 after Hurricane Mitch devastated the two countries.

The Trump administration is expected to make announcements ending TPS for Haitians by November 23, 2017 and for Salvadoran by January 8, 2018. Haiti received its initial TPS designation in 2010 after an earthquake left 1.5 million people homeless and injured 300,000 people. El Salvador became the first country to receive TPS designation in 1990 in the aftermath of the country’s civil war.

After the termination of the TPS designation, individuals will revert back to whatever legal status they had before they received TPS. That means many people would become undocumented if they cannot quickly change their statuses and remain in the country.

Given that many of the TPS recipients have been in this country for decades, administration officials said the White House would look to Congress to offer a permanent solution for TPS holders.

It is advisable for TPS recipients to get evaluated by an immigration attorney to see if they qualify for any other form of immigration relief before their designation expires.

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