Hondurans could receive TPS extension

The fallo of a federal judge could temporarily suspend the termination of Temporary Protected Status (TPS) for immigrants from Honduras and Nepal following the Bhattarai v. Nielsen lawsuit.

That class action lawsuit on behalf of six immigrants with TPS and two U.S. citizen children of TPS beneficiaries, challenge the legality of the program's termination for approximately 100,000 people from Honduras and Nepal and is very similar to another lawsuit - Ramos v. Nielsen - that seeks to prevent the termination of TPS for El Salvador, Nicaragua, Haiti and Sudan.

Judge Edward M. Chen, who in October ordered the temporary restoration of TPS for El Salvador, Haiti, Sudan and Nicaragua in response to the Ramos v. Nielsen lawsuit, is presiding over the lawsuit seeking relief for Hondurans with TPS.

Due to the similarity of arguments in both cases, and based on a motion by the litigants, Judge Chen signed an order to temporarily stay the legal proceedings in the lawsuit. Bhattarai v. Nielsen while the Ramos v. Nielsen case is being decided.

As part of the agreement, President Donald Trump's administration will allow an automatic nine-month extension of TPS for Hondurans if the Ramos v. Nielsen litigation is not resolved before TPS for Hondurans expires on January 5, 2020.

What does the agreement mean?

The U.S. Department of Homeland Security (DHS) cancelled TPS for Hondurans in May 2018, giving them until January 5, 2020 to remain in the United States or prepare to return to Honduras if they did not qualify for another immigration benefit.

The settlement would allow approximately 86,000 Hondurans to retain TPS protection for an additional nine months beginning January 5, 2020 - until October 5, 2020. This would occur only if the Ramos v. Nielsen lawsuit is not resolved at least 45 days before TPS for Hondurans expires - that is, on November 21, 2019.

TPS for about 15,000 immigrants from Nepal is scheduled to expire on June 24, 2019. They could also have an automatic extension of relief for an additional nine months until March 24, 2020 if the Ramos v. Nielsen case is not resolved at least 45 days before TPS for Nepal expires - that is, on May 10, 2019.

The settlement among the Bhattarai v. Nielsen litigants means that TPS now remains in effect on a temporary basis for El Salvador, Nicaragua, Honduras, Haiti, Nepal, and Sudan - the six countries for which President Trump's administration had eliminated immigration relief.

Automatic extensions of TPS and employment authorization under the relief will continue to be issued in short-term increments as long as the temporary restraining order in the Ramos v. Nielsen case remains in effect.

DON'T WAIT FOR THE LEGAL RESOLUTION. TPS for El Salvador, Honduras and Nicaragua will one day end. It is extremely important that anyone in TPS immediately consult with an immigration attorney to evaluate their legal options, including whether they can apply for permanent residency in the United States through family, work, or a humanitarian program.