Tuesday, April 16, 2024

Biden Administration Allows Over 300,000 Immigrants Temporary Legal Status

The U.S. government announced the extension of the temporary legal status of more than 300,000 immigrants whose deportation protections and work permits were targeted by the Trump administration.

The Biden administration will allow roughly 337,000 immigrants to legally continue living and working in the U.S. under the Temporary Protected Status program. The 1990 law authorizing the TPS policy enables federal officials to grant deportation relief and work authorization to migrants from countries beset by war, environmental disaster, or another “extraordinary” crisis.

As part of its broader crackdown on illegal and legal immigration, the Trump administration tried to end most TPS programs. But those attempts were blocked in federal court.

The Biden administration’s move will reverse the decision to end TPS for El Salvador, Honduras, Nepal, and Nicaragua and grant a temporary reprieve to those currently enrolled in the program. Despite calls from Democratic lawmakers and migrant advocates, the administration is not moving to expand the TPS programs for these four countries because the program will be open to new applicants, making more recent arrivals from these countries eligible for TPS.

TPS does not benefit new arrivals, but some officials believe generous immigration announcements could act as “pull factors.” Instead, the extension will allow existing TPS holders from El Salvador, Honduras, Nepal, and Nicaragua to continue living in the U.S. for another 18 months.

TPS allows beneficiaries to live and work in the country without fear of deportation but does not provide them a path to permanent residency or citizenship.

Ahilan Arulanantham, a lawyer representing TPS holders in the federal court case over the Trump-era terminations, called the announcement “an enormous, hard-fought victory for the TPS community.”

“They pushed the Biden Administration to finally fulfill the President’s campaign promise so that everyone who held TPS status in 2017 — when the Trump administration attempted to end the program — now has their status restored,” said Arulanantham, who is also a professor at UCLA School of Law. Under President Biden, a Democrat, the U.S. has created TPS programs for many migrants and countries.

CBS News