UPDATE: TEMPORARY PROTECTED STATUS IN LIMBO; WHAT TO DO TO PROTECT WORKPLACE RIGHTS

As we reported earlier this year, (Termination of TPS Status On Hold: What Workers in TPS Status Should Do to Protect Workplace Rights) the Trump Administration announced the termination of Temporary Protected Status (“TPS”) designation for El Salvador, Haiti, Nicaragua and Sudan.

However, a court order in the Ramos v. Nielsen lawsuit blocked the termination of TPS for those countries. The original termination dates that have now been blocked are:
El Salvador: TPS ends on September 9, 2019, but extended by court order.
Haiti: TPS ends on January 22, 2019, but now extended by court order.
Nicaragua: TPS ends on January 9, 2019, but now extended by court order.
Honduras: TPS designation was set to terminate on January 5, 2020.

The court order in Ramos v. Nielsen stopped the termination of TPS for El Salvador, Haiti, Nicaragua, and Sudan.  The same court order stopped the government from making a decision to terminate TPS for Honduras.  The government appealed the court order in Ramos and we are expecting a decision from the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeal on whether the terminations of TPS remain blocked.

As a result of the court’s order, the federal government issued a notice automatically extending work permits for TPS holders from El Salvador, Haiti, Nicaragua and Sudan to January 2, 2020.  This means that TPS holders from those countries can legally work in the U.S. even if their work permits have a date on them that has already expired.  Work permits for Honduras are valid through January 5, 2020. 

For example, TPS holders from El Salvador with the original TPS date of September 9, 2019 remain in TPS status and authorized to work.  Workers do not need to present any additional documentation for the automatic extension.

Should an employer seek to re-verify the work authorization of an employee in TPS status after the expiration date on the employee’s work permit, that worker can show his/her employer a copy of the applicable Federal Register Notice to show automatic extension of their work permits.  The Federal Register Notice can be found here.

The future status of TPS is unknown.  Should the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeal decide the federal government can terminate TPS designations for these countries, some individuals may lose their status.  For this reason, it is important for individuals in TPS status to investigate whether they may be eligible for any other type of immigration relief.  We will provide more information as we receive further developments on the outcome of the Ramos lawsuit and what workers can do to prepare for a negative outcome.

For more information contact your labor or immigration counsel.

By: Monica Guizar | September 12, 2019

Legal Developments