A brief primer on the current TPS information for Haitians created by Steven Forester, IJDH’s immigration policy coordinator.
As a result of developments in the Ramos case, Haiti TPS WON’T end July 22! It’ll go thru December at least, and no one who now has TPS needs to pay or do ANYTHING at all to benefit! More good news: any Haitian who had TPS but doesn’t anymore because they didn’t reregister for it in either 2017 or 2018 may and should reregister now! (But beware of rip-off artists: no one who now has TPS needs to pay anyone or do anything except show their employer a Fed Register Notice to be published in March extending TPS thru December!)
- Automatic 9 month extensions, starting in April 2019, unless there is a loss at a court of appeals: “DHS will issue another Federal Register Notice approximately 30 days before April 2, 2019, that will extend TPS for an additional nine months from April 2, 2019, for all affected beneficiaries under the TPS designations for Sudan, Nicaragua, Haiti, and El Salvador. DHS will continue to issue Federal Register Notices at nine-month intervals so long as the preliminary injunction remains in place and will continue its commitment to [an] orderly transition period, as described above.” (There’s no way the Ninth Circuit will decide by early March, much less the Supreme Court. So the early March additional Federal Register Notice referenced above will issue.)
- TPS work and legal status will be automatic for those registered—no need to pay for employment authorization cards or further registration: Under the agreement, for as long as the district court’s order is in place, people with TPS who have re-registered previously – or who re-register late – will not need to register again or apply for a new EAD. They can rely on their existing (to-be-expired) EAD or TPS approval notice, as well as the Federal Register Notice, as valid authorization to work or as proof of legal status in the United States. They do not need to pay any further money to the US government, and should not need to pay for additional legal assistance either.
- Re-registration possible—and likely guaranteed—for people who did not re-register during the Trump Administration: Crucially, Haitians with TPS who didn’t reregister in 2017 or 2018 due to fear or other good reason can successfully do so now! If they now reregister for TPS late for good cause, the USG will give their applications “presumptive weight” as being valid! This means that any Haitian TPS recipient who failed to reregister in 2017 or 2018 should be successful in doing so now — late — if they explain that they didn’t reregister on time due to fear, confusion, or other good reason. (This is extremely important for example for the estimated nearly 16,000 Haitians with TPS who let their TPS status lapse early this year by not trying to reregister!)
- No new terminations for these countries for now: The USG will not try to write new TPS termination notices for Haiti or the three other nations while the court’s order remains valid.
- At least 6 months additional protection even if there is a loss at a higher court: “In the event the preliminary injunction is reversed and that reversal becomes final, DHS will allow for an orderly transition period,” which effectively amounts to about six months from the date of any such hypothetical future final, non-appealable order. This means that – if the district court’s order is overturned on appeal (at the court of appeals or the Supreme Court), the earliest that TPS holders from these countries could lose their legal status is about 6 months after the appeals court’s decision.
Prompt congressional action for a longer-term solution remains key. Haitians with TPS need to know they needn’t fear anything changing on July 22; and Haitians who used to have it but who failed to reregister for it under Trump need to know that they may and should reregister for it now to get its protections.