Temporary Protected Status (TPS)

Temporary Protected Status (TPS) was implemented in 1990 to cover aliens who were in the United States when a temporary period of civil strife or natural disaster arose in their home country. TPS was intended to allow these aliens to stay in the U.S. and then return to their home country when their TPS permission expired. Once TPS status expires, beneficiaries who do not return home become illegal alien residents.

Unfortunately, those illegally in the U.S. are also able to take advantage of Temporary Protected Status even though they have absolutely no intention of returning to their home country. The TPS program has also failed because of the pattern of unjustified extensions to TPS status.

From the FAIR article on Temporary Protected Status:

...Clearly the test of whether the TPS program would work as intended, i.e., a temporary respite for persons who fear returning home because of temporary adverse conditions, is whether TPS status has been allowed to lapse when homeland conditions have stabilized and whether the protected populations have then left the United States to return home. By this standard, TPS has been an absolute failure. Practice has shown a pattern of unjustified extensions of TPS designations and demands for amnesty by the protected aliens so that they could stay permanently in the United States...

The interrelationship between the TPS status and amnesty for aliens residing illegally in the United States is clear. That link was established in the debate surrounding treatment of natives of El Salvador who were specifically designated for TPS status in the 1990 Immigration Act. These aliens, who for the most part entered the country illegally in the 1980s, and were granted temporary protection and work permits as a result of the TPS designation, never went home after political stability was reestablished in their homeland...

It should be apparent from the disparity between the intent of our policies and the practical effects, that this gap is undermining our immigration laws...

To end this cycle:

  • Congress needs to speak with one voice on the importance of ending mass illegal immigration, and of the importance of equipping the immigration authorities (under professional, committed leadership) to handle the large-scale apprehension and deportations required to restore integrity to the rule of law.
  • TPS is unnecessary and should be abolished. The law permits the Executive Branch the power to temporarily suspend deportation in emergency situations. That is all that is necessary to cope with foreign humanitarian crises.
  • Until TPS is removed, it should be limited only to foreigners who are in the U.S. legally; it should be a program available only to those who are here in the normal course of affairs and may be expected to return to their homeland at the earliest opportunity. That is not the case with illegal aliens, and they should be excluded.
  • If granted, TPS must not be a stepping stone to permanent residence through amnesty provisions. Those who receive TPS should not be given any further opportunity to file claims for relief later under any other provision of U.S. law, other than as a result of a marriage to a U.S. Citizen.



Temporary Protected Status, FAIR, 2015.

Temporary Protected Status – A Rolling Amnesty, by Jack Martin, FAIR, January 27, 2016.
There's Nothing as Permanent as a Temporary Refugee, by Mark Krikorian, Center for Immigration Studies, July 13, 2010.