The U.S. Department of Homeland Security announced yesterday that it will terminate the temporary protected status program for immigrants from El Salvador. People from El Salvador who currently have TPS are eligible to obtain an extension that will expire September 9, 2019. At that point TPS for El Salvador will officially end. Those whose only legal status at that time is TPS will be expected to leave the United States or, if eligible, to seek a more permanent solution to their immigration status. Salvadorans with TPS will need to re-register for the program and apply for employment authorization documents to be able to continue to legally work in the U.S. until Sept. 9, 2019. The registration period and procedures to apply will be announced by USCIS.
Temporary protected status provides relief to people from countries deemed to be unsafe because of natural disaster, civil war and other conditions. People who are TPS beneficiaries are not deportable, can receive work authorization, and may be eligible to travel outside of the U.S. with special permission called advance parole. Unfortunately, TPS does not provide beneficiaries with a path to lawful permanent residence or citizenship. However, people with TPS are eligible to apply for all other immigration benefits for which they can qualify; there are alternatives that may help to assist those affected by the termination of TPS, such as family based petition, waivers of inadmissibility, adjustment of status, etc. Many TPS recipients have U.S. Citizen children who are now, or who will soon turn 21 years of age. For certain persons this could make them eligible to be petitioned by their children depending on the facts of their particular case.
There are also various other programs that could be options, including U-Visas for people that are victims of crime, permanent residency due to domestic violence from a U.S. citizen or permanent resident spouse (VAWA), Parole in Place for those who have active duty or former active duty military spouse or children, and asylum. Those affected by this termination should consult with a reputable immigration attorney to explore all options. It is not necessary to wait until TPS ends to apply for any of these programs. A TPS holder can apply for permanent residency or other status at any time.
Additionally, there are other options for relief if someone is facing deportation such as cancellation of removal for those who have more than ten years consecutively in the United States and have U.S. citizen or permanent resident spouse, children, or parents that will suffer exceptional and extremely unusual hardship as a result of the deportation. In the event that someone who has TPS is unable to find a solution by September 2019, there are other ways to obtain relief if the government decides to pursue deportation
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ABOUT THIS AUTHOR
KELLY S. O’REILLY – FOUNDING PARTNER
Kelly O’Reilly is a founding partner with Wilner & O’Reilly, APLC, and a former Immigration Officer with Citizenship and Immigration Services in Los Angeles and Orange County. With over 18 years working as an immigration attorney, he is an expert in all facets of Immigration Law and one of the best immigration attorneys serving Orange County and Riverside County. A native of Fresno, California, Mr. O’Reilly received his law degree from the University of La Verne, College of Law and his Bachelor of Science degree from Brigham Young University. A former missionary in Hong Kong, Mr. O’Reilly has a great love of Chinese culture and is conversant in Cantonese.
SEAN T. CARPENTER – MANAGING ATTORNEY – SALT LAKE CITY
Mr. Carpenter is the Managing Attorney of the Salt Lake City office of Wilner & O’Reilly. Proficient in all areas of immigration law, Mr. Carpenter currently focuses on family-based immigration, employment-based, as well as U-Visas, 601 waivers, and investment-based immigration cases. He has helped numerous people with TPS obtain lawful permanent residency through family-based petitions and other means.
Mr. Carpenter graduated from Brigham Young University with a Bachelor’s Degree in Translation, and received his law degree from Arizona State University where he graduated Magna Cum Laude. He is a fluent Spanish speaker and enjoys working with people from all across Latin America.