You Should Know

You Should Know

What is Temporary Protected Status?

by Sara McElmurry, and Vicky Stavropoulos
The Trump administration has announced it will end Temporary Protected Status (TPS) for Salvadorans, Hondurans, Haitians, and Nicaraguans living in the United States. More than 300,000 people may see their status revoked by 2019 and be removed from the United States unless Congress acts. Here’s what you should know about the end of TPS and those affected.

What is Temporary Protected Status?

by Sara McElmurry and Vicky Stavropoulos

The Trump administration has announced it will end Temporary Protected Status (TPS) for Salvadorans, Sudanese, Haitians, and Nicaraguans living in the United States. More than 300,000 people may see their status revoked by 2019 and be removed from the United States unless Congress acts. Here’s what you should know about the end of TPS and those affected.

Photo: REUTERS/Eduardo Munoz
Photo: REUTERS/Eduardo Munoz
Temporary Protected Status (TPS) is a program that gives permission for people who face dangerous or unstable conditions in their home countries to live and work in the United States.
Photo: REUTERS/Rebecca Cook
The Department of Homeland Security (DHS), using input on in-country conditions from the Department of State, designates countries eligible for TPS. DHS also designates a period of time for which TPS is valid. TPS status is generally renewed in 18-month intervals.  
Photo: REUTERS/Tomas Bravo
Haitians were granted TPS after a deadly earthquake in 2010. Nicaraguans, Salvadorans, and Hondurans were granted TPS status after Hurricane Mitch in 1998. More than 300,000 people, most from Central America and the Caribbean, are living in the United States under TPS. 
Photo: REUTERS/Carlos Barria
TPS recipients have lived in the United States for an average of 19 years. They comply with comprehensive security screenings, contribute actively to the economy, and have raised families. Nearly 275,000 US-citizen children have a parent who is a TPS holder.
Photo: REUTERS/Lucy Nicholson
Critics of the program applaud the Trump administration’s move to terminate TPS, claiming it was meant to be a temporary solution but has evolved to a “backdoor” immigration policy.
Photo: REUTERS/Carlos Barria
Proponents of the program counter that it is still not safe to return to TPS countries. Many are still plagued with poverty and violence and are struggling to rebuild after more recent natural disasters.
Photo: REUTERS/Carlos Garcia Rawlins
Ending TPS may further negatively affect these countries. Significant streams of remittance money—which tally nearly 30 percent of the GDP in Haiti alone—that TPS holders send to support family and friends would stop. 
Photo: REUTERS/Edgard Garrido
Cancelling TPS also threatens the US economy. At least 80 percent of TPS recipients participate in the workforce. It will cost US employers nearly $1 billion to train new workers, and may result in $164 billion in lost GDP over the next 10 years.
Photo: iStock/bowdenimages
Dozens of US municipal governments have passed resolutions in support of TPS.  Business groups, including the US Chamber of Commerce, have called on DHS to extend the program.  
Photo: iStock/Coast-to-Coast
Congress has failed to update TPS into a pathway to permanent residency since 1990. The Trump administration’s move to terminate TPS departs from previous administrations’ precedents of continuously extending the program. 
Photo: REUTERS/Joshua Roberts
Several policymakers have recently introduced legislation that would create a pathway to citizenship for certain TPS holders. Time will tell if legislation advances before long-time TPS holders have to leave the country.
Photo: REUTERS/Joshua Roberts
The number of refugees, asylum-seekers, and internally displaced people around the world is now over 65 million. Civil conflicts, terrorism, and economic disparities have spurred a complex web of migration routes globally. Learn more about what services are available for migrants and refugees at every stage of their journey on January 10.

The number of refugees, asylum-seekers, and internally displaced people around the world is now over 65 million. Civil conflicts, terrorism, and economic disparities have spurred a complex web of migration routes globally. Watch our panel discussion on migration and learn more about what services are available for migrants and refugees at every stage of their journey.

Photo: REUTERS/Christinne Muschi

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