The Temporary Protected Status (TPS) program was created in 1990. Since then, countless immigrants hailing from countries plagued by civil war or destruction due to natural disasters have qualified to receive a humanitarian visa that allows them to come here and work with the ultimate goal of repatriating.
The TPS program currently accepts applications from people in 12 different countries throughout Latin America, Africa, Asia, and the Middle East. Recipients currently have to undergo a reassessment before renewing their visa every 18 months.
A report published by Voices of America last month chronicles how many TPS recipients have grown weary of not being able to plan for their futures due to how often renewals have to occur.
What’s supposed to happen with TPS in October?
President Joseph Biden used executive orders that resulted in a temporary extension of the TPS program and a halt in pending deportations until October. Earlier this month, the U.S. Department of Homeland Security (DHS) announced an automatic 15-month extension of the TPS program, but only for individuals from six of 12 countries, including:
- El Salvador
This leaves recipients from the six other countries that generally qualify for this visa in jeopardy of having to return home.
Why does what happens with TPS matter?
Some TPS recipients have been living in the U.S. since the program’s inception. It’s been so long for some that they can barely remember their home country. Many recipients have built their lives in the U.S. despite not knowing whether officials will renew their visas every 18 months. Not only is this emotionally draining, but it impacts the opportunities that they can take advantage of, such as securing a job or driver’s license. It’s hard to secure these when a visa holder can’t say how long they’ll continue residing here.
Immigration advocacy groups are currently calling for government officials to make TPS recipients’ statuses more permanent.
If you’re here as a TPS recipient worried about your status, the best thing you can do is learn more about your rights and other visas you might qualify to receive. There may be something that you can do to put an end to the unpredictability that you have had to endure.