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Biden Administration Announces 15 Month Temporary Protected Status (TPS) Extension for El Salvador, Honduras, Nicaragua, Haiti, Nepal, Sudan

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The extension applies to all current beneficiaries, but excludes thousands left without protection 

 Today, in a document scheduled to be officially published tomorrow in the Federal Register, the Biden Administration announced a 15 month automatic extension of Temporary Protected Status (TPS) for all current beneficiaries from El Salvador, Honduras, Nicaragua, Haiti, Nepal and Sudan. The following is a statement from Douglas Rivlin, Director of Communication for America’s Voice, in response to the 15 month extension:

The announcement of this extension comes as welcome news to TPS holders and their families who have been held in limbo for years. We celebrate alongside TPS holders from El Salvador, Honduras, Nicaragua, Haiti, Nepal, and Sudan who will have the security of knowing they can continue to work, support their families, and contribute to their communities at least through December 2022.

This extension comes after months of litigation, organizing, and advocacy by TPS holders and allied groups, but it marks a failure on the part of the Biden Administration to redesignate these six countries – and designate others – for TPS and expand the protection to more long term immigrants who need it. The Biden Administration has the legal authority to immediately redesignate TPS, and given the devastation from climate disasters, widespread violence, economic instability, and the ongoing impact of the COVID-19 pandemic in these six countries, they absolutely need to use it and expand TPS to other countries.

We can and should expect more from the Biden Administration. In choosing to extend rather than redesignate TPS for the Central American countries on the list, for example, the President is passing up an opportunity to protect thousands of immigrants who are already in this country, many of whom have been part of our communities for more than a decade. Damage from natural disasters and dangerous and unstable conditions in El Salvador, Honduras, and Nicaragua make those countries unsafe for immigrants to return. Due to the current dire and extraordinary circumstances, Guatemala has asked the United States to designate Guatemalans for TPS as the government is not in a position to accept returning deportees. Honduras has requested a redesignation for the same reasons. There is a very strong case to be made by other countries across the globe for TPS and the Biden Administration should be expansive in its consideration of these cases.

The President should use executive action more aggressively to expand TPS and protect immigrants who are already living, working, and paying taxes here. Their work and entrepreneurship directly benefit our economy and the money immigrants send to families through remittances helps stabilize regions of the world facing civil strife, climate change-driven disasters and the lingering impact of the global pandemic.

Furthermore, right now, Congress has an opportunity to enact a permanent solution that ends the limbo for TPS holders. A component of the Democrats’ budget package making its way through the House and Senate would establish a path to citizenship for immigrants to include long term residents with deep roots in the U.S., like DACA recipients, Dreamers, farmworkers, essential workers and TPS holders. 

The 15 month extension for these six countries is a place to start, but we still have a long way to go.