Termination of TPS Status On Hold: What Workers in TPS Status Should Do to Protect Workplace Rights

The federal government’s Temporary Protected Status (TPS) program allows individuals from certain countries who are already physically present in the U.S. to continue living and working here when conditions in their home countries are too unsafe for them to return.

The federal government announced the termination of TPS of certain countries. The first was for the countries of Sudan, Haiti, El Salvador, and Nicaragua. The second announcement was for Nepal and Honduras. Due to lawsuits filed by TPS holders from these countries, DHS announced that the terminations remain on hold.

TPS holders from Sudan, Haiti, El Salvador, and Nicaragua now have their TPS extended until January 2, 2020 based on the Ramos v. Nielsen lawsuit. After the court issued its ruling in Ramos, the Department of Homeland Security issued a notice stating that the “TPS designations of Sudan, Nicaragua, Haiti, and El Salvador will remain in effect” as long as the court’s order remains in effect. The federal register notice issued on March 1, 2019 can be found here. The DHS federal register notice also automatically extends work authorization of TPS holders from those countries through January 2, 2020. TPS holders from El Salvador, Sudan, Nicaragua and Haiti who have applied to renew their work authorization documents but have not yet received them also have an automatic extension of their work authorization and can present the federal register notice with their expired employment authorization document to their employer to demonstrate the automatic extension.

After the Ramos case was filed, TPS holders from Honduras and Nepal filed a lawsuit called Bhattarai v. Nielsen. As a result of an agreement by the plaintiffs and DHS to stay the proceedings, on March 12, 2019, the district court in San Francisco temporarily stayed the termination of TPS holders from Honduras and Nepal based on the Ramos case. TPS for Nepal was set to expire on June 24, 2019 and TPS for Honduras was set to expire on January 5, 2020.

TPS now temporarily remains in place for all of the six countries that received termination decisions by the Trump administration: Sudan, Nicaragua, Haiti, El Salvador, Nepal, and Honduras. Automatic extensions of TPS protections and work authorization will be issued in short-term increments as long as the Ramos injunction remains in place.

Labor unions and worker advocates should ensure that employers do not mistakenly terminate or interrupt the employment of TPS holders from these six countries, as they continue to be authorized to work based on the automatic extensions.

For any questions, contact your immigration or labor law counsel.

By Eric Wiesner | April 29, 2019

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