Work Permits for Salvadoran TPS Beneficiaries Extended to 2021

 

Roy Maurer By Roy Maurer October 31, 2019
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Editor's Note: The Department of Homeland Security (DHS) announced Nov. 1 that in addition to El Salvador, employment authorization will be extended for Temporary Protected Status (TPS) beneficiaries from Haiti, Honduras, Nepal, Nicaragua and Sudan through Jan. 4, 2021.

Employment authorization for workers from El Salvador who are covered under Temporary Protected Status (TPS) will be extended for an additional 12 months, through Jan. 4, 2021.

The Department of Homeland Security announced the extension Oct. 28, after an agreement was reached between the United States and El Salvador. The agreement provides that the two countries will cooperate on information sharing, border security and illegal migration. It also provides for a yearlong transition period for Salvadoran TPS holders to repatriate to their country after the conclusion of a lawsuit challenging the U.S. decision to terminate TPS for El Salvador.  

There are approximately 250,000 Salvadorans in the U.S. with TPS-provided work permits.

Instructions on the extension of work authorization, including application procedures and Form I-9 verification instructions is expected soon.

We've rounded up articles and resources from SHRM Online and other outlets on the news.

Deal-Making in Central America

The announcement reverses a 2018 decision to terminate TPS for El Salvador in September 2019 for many who have resided in the United States for nearly two decades. The concession is part of a package of agreements the Trump administration has negotiated in recent weeks aimed at winning Central America's cooperation to slow the movement of migrants from those countries.

(The New York Times)

Cuccinelli Offers a Correction

Acting U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services Director Ken Cuccinelli stressed that while work permits would be extended for a year amid ongoing litigation, it was not an extension of the TPS program itself. Cuccinelli explained that "work permits for Salvadorans will be extended for one year past resolution of litigation for an orderly wind down period."

(The Hill)

Expiration Halted by Court Order

In October 2018, U.S. District Court Judge Edward Chen in San Francisco ordered the Trump administration to halt its plans to terminate TPS for people from El Salvador, Haiti, Nicaragua and Sudan. Employees with TPS from the affected four countries were able to maintain their right to work in the United States while a lawsuit in the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of California challenging the government's decision to end TPS is resolved.

TPS benefits were automatically extended through January 2020 for nationals of the four countries. The lawsuit is ongoing, as is a similar lawsuit which relates to TPS terminations for Honduras and Nepal.

(SHRM Online)

TPS Explained

Congress created the TPS status in 1990 to offer foreign nationals temporary permission to live and work in the U.S., instead of being returned to countries that are deemed unsafe after natural disasters, armed conflict or other emergencies. Salvadorans, for example—the largest group of TPS holders at approximately 250,000—were provided the provisional status and protected from deportation after earthquakes hit the country in 2001, and their protected status has been routinely renewed ever since.

(SHRM Online)

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