A three judge panel at the Ninth Circuit ruled last week that an injunction blocking the Trump administration from ending TPS for hundreds of thousands of immigrants. The court in its decision in Ramos v. Nielsen is essentially allowing TPS to terminate for at least 15,000-25.000 Long Islanders from Nicaragua, Haiti, El Salvador, Honduras and other countries. Many people with TPS have employment authorization cards that end on January 4, 2021. I have been getting a lot of questions about the implications of this ruling for people with TPS and I have a few answers!
Q: I have TPS status that expires on January 4, 2021. Will I be undocumented on that date?
A: No. An agreement with attorneys representing the government was reached that will now make March 5, 2021 the earliest date TPS will end. I know that is scant comfort for someone trying to plan their life, but it allows additional time for legal action and civic engagement to try to secure longer-lasting protection.
Q: Will I have to apply for a new work permit for just two months of work authorization?
A: No. It is likely that the Department of Homeland Security will issue an announcement of an automatic renewal of all work authorizations in November.
Q: Is there a chance that the case will be appealed to a higher court to try to continue to block the end of TPS?
A: Yes. Lawyers representing immigrants are already working to get the entire Ninth Circuit to rehear the case. If the Ninth Circuit agrees to rehear the case en banc, then it is likely that the end of TPS will be significantly delayed. There is, though, a substantial chance that the court will not agree to a rehearing.
Q: What if there is a new president elected in November, could he keep TPS?
A. Yes. A new president would take office before TPS permits expire and would be able to extend the programs or even expand them.