In November of 2017, Acting Secretary of Homeland Security, Elaine Duke, announced her decision to terminate Temporary Protected Status (TPS) designation for Haiti (with a delayed effective date of July 22, 2019) and Nicaragua (with a delayed effective date of January 5, 2019). Secretary Duke has announced that additional information is necessary to make a determination on the designation for Honduras, thereby automatically extending it for 6 months until July 5, 2018. TPS is granted by the Department of Homeland Security to foreign nationals of designated countries. TPS is reserved for nationals of select countries that have ongoing armed conflict, environmental disasters, and other extraordinary circumstances that make the country unsafe.
Unfortunately, as a result of the delay in the reviewing process, no notice has been published in the Federal Register, and there has not been any further guidance regarding the process, forms, or fees. This issue is of particular importance as the current TPS for Nicaragua and Honduras is set to expire January 5, 2018. Accordingly, nationals of Haiti, Honduras and Nicaragua with expiring work permits may well be eligible to continue to be protected under TPS status but presently have no mechanism through wish to renew that status or their work permits. Duke previously announced that further details will be published in the Federal Register. The Federal Register notices for Honduras and Nicaragua have been sent to the White House Office of Information and Regulatory Affairs (OIRA) for review but remain unpublished. The OIRA conducts a review prior to publishing the notices in the Federal Register. The United States currently provides more than 300,000 foreign nationals with TPS from countries such as: El Salvador, Honduras, Haiti, Nepal, Syria, Nicaragua, Yemen, Sudan, Somalia, and South Sudan. However, the Trump administration has been extremely aggressive in terminating the continuation of TPS in these countries despite harsh criticism due to the continuance of extremely dire country conditions in Haiti, Nicaragua and Honduras.