Federal Court Ruling Threatens Legal Status for 48K Texan TPS Holders
On September 14th, the Federal Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit ruled that the DHS under President Trump acted within its authority in terminating Temporary Protected Status for Haiti, Nicaragua, Sudan, Honduras, and Nepal in 2017 and 2018.
The ruling lifted a preliminary injunction on DHS’ termination of the programs, and now roughly 400,000 people who have resided legally in the US, in some cases for over 20 years, could be ordered to return to their home countries and lose legal status in March or November of 2021 unless congress passes a bill or the president issues an order to extend their protections.
According to research provided by New American Economy, TPS holders are a productive population that play an important role in the Texas economy.
- There are 48,669 TPS holders in Texas
- 96.9% of TPS holders in Texas are working age, compared to roughly 64% of Texans
- 96.7% of TPS holders in Texas are employed
- TPS holders in Texas pay an estimated $258 million in state and federal taxes
- TPS holders in Texas hold about $943.1 million in spending power
- TPS holders help with natural disaster recovery and preparedness
Temporary Protected Status provides work authorization and legal status to foreign nationals who are unable to return to their country of origin safely due to conditions like an ongoing armed conflict, natural disaster, or other extraordinary circumstances, provided they meet certain requirements and pass background checks. The president and DHS hold the authority to issue, extend, and end TPS for individual countries. Congress may also pass legislation to provide TPS holders a method to earn permanent legal status. While certain TPS holders may be able to obtain permanent legal status through family-based immigration or employment based immigration, those paths are limited and not available to all TPS holders.
If TPS expires for the nations and populations listed above without a solution from the president or Congress, most of the 400,000 TPS holders from those nations residing in the US will lose legal status. Many of them will be forced to leave, or elect to remain in the US illegally.