With the war in the Ukraine, the American media has provided vivid and terrifying pictures of Ukrainian families attempting to flee from the violence of the war. One of the most important programs for refugees seeking asylum from the chaos in Ukraine is the Temporary Protected Status (TPS) provided by United States immigration laws. An understanding of this program may be helpful for persons in the United States trying to help relatives or other family members trying to escape the war in their homeland.
Background of TPS
The TPS program was created by Congress in 1990. It was intended to provide a refuge for persons whose home countries were not safe for extended occupation. While generally receiving bipartisan support, the program was sharply limited by policies of the Trump administration. Court challenges eventually halted most of Trump’s efforts to limit the TPS program.
How TPS works
TPS is administered by the Department of Homeland Security. It allows persons from designated countries to enter the United States lawfully and to remain for 18 months. The 18-month period can be renewed indefinitely. The program can be used to provide a safe haven for persons whose countries have experienced natural disasters such as floods, hurricanes, political instability, or other extraordinary and t4emporary conditions render the country unsafe. The program was first offered to refugees fleeing the Salvadoran civil war in 1990.
The benefits of TPS
Once a person receives TPS and arrives in the U.S., the person is able to seek employment and to travel, all protected from deportation. TPS status is no guarantee of citizenship, but a person in the United States can apply for full citizenship without imperiling the TPS.
Most applicants for TPS are already in the United States under another immigration category. These individuals can make an application for TPS while they are physically present in this country. Anyone who is interested in seeking TPS individually or for a loved one may wish to consult an experienced immigration attorney for advice.