As we discussed earlier this month, President- elect Trump will bring some new changes to immigration law and polices. We explored the possibility of the DACA being canceled and what that would look like for our clients and potential clients. Now, let's look at two other executive orders that Trump can, and will more than likely, overturn TPS and I 601-a.
What is TPS?
The Temporary Protected Status (TPS) is for individuals from countries where there is ongoing armed conflict, a large scale environmental disaster or epidemic, and a few other extraordinary and temporary conditions. TPS status is on a rolling 18 month cycle and country eligibility is decided upon by the Secretary of Homeland security. TPS status can be extended for additional 18 month cycles if conditions are not improved and/ or revoked if it is considered stable.
Those who are here under TPS do not typically have a path to citizenship and are not allowed to bring their children and spouses, though they are allowed to work and travel outside the US. Immigrants from Honduras and El Salvador are perhaps most concerned as their 18 month extension is due for renewal in early 2018.
What Trump has said:
Trump has been quite loud and vocal about his desire to deport all undocumented immigrants, build a wall, then allow back the “really quality ones”, but demand that “the bad ones have to go.” Wether or not President-elect Trump will make good on his threats to immigrants with mass-deportation, is all speculation. However, Trump has appointed General John Kelly lead for the Department of Homeland Security. This retired Four-Star Marine General was favored among the immigration advocates compared to alt-right Kris Kobach. Though General Kelly will be tough on immigrants. Ultimately, General Kelly will have the say if and when TPS status is revoked or renewed.
What would a cancelation mean?
While a TPS cancelation would be difficult, what most supporters of humanitarian immigration fear individuals returning to their countries of origin, will be prime targets for robbery, extortion, and violence. Perhaps even more alarming is the very real reality that the government does in fact have A list of everyone here under TPS and their address. This makes removal and forced deportation more of a certainty if TPS status is revoked.
We will be monitoring the decisions that General Kelly and President- elect Trump will be making closely. PLEASE contact our offices should you require council or representation.
What is I 601-a?
When foreign immigrants adjust their status, they must travel abroad and obtain an immigrant visa to enter the country, which can be only applied for while residing outside the US. I 601-A allows immediate relatives of U.S. citizens to apply for a waiver so their unlawful presence is not a hinderance in the process. This removes the risk of them being stuck outside the US if their application is delayed or denied. Obviously, this is beneficial for nuclear families and children to maintain the family unit and education.
What Trump has said:
While President- elect Trump has not spoken specifically about this waiver; we do have a clear idea of his opinions toward immigrants with improper documentation or lake there of. Therefore, if Trump would like to change the I 601-a program, he will need to propose a new regulation. That new proposal will go through a period of public comment, in an attempt to make adjustments and revisions. After revisions and approval, the final version will be published and made law. Thankfully there is a process that will take time to unwind and undo.
I 601-a Clients:
Do not fear just yet. We will keep you informed and apprised of any changes that could be pertinent to your case. In the mean time, PLEASE contact our offices should you require any other assistance.
Our most fervent urge is that you carry our information & your personal documentation in your wallet at all times. Remember to refuse to sign any departure documents, and if detained… contact us immediately.