Posts in Humanitarian Relief.
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Congress created temporary protected status (TPS) as part of the Immigration Act of 1990.  TPS allows qualifying persons inside the United States to remain and work lawfully until conditions in their home countries improve following civil war, natural disaster or similar extraordinary situations.  DHS has the discretion to determine when the circumstances in a particular country merit TPS designation.  Nationals of those countries already present in the United States can apply for TPS, along with permission to work lawfully.  TPS is usually granted in 6, 12, or 18 month increments, and can be renewed.  Haiti received the most recent TPS designation for a natural disaster, following the 2010 earthquake that devastated the island nation.

Time 1 Minute Read

On October 3, 2018, California U.S. District Judge Edward Chen granted a preliminary injunction in the case of Ramos v. Nielsen, preventing the Department of Homeland Security from terminating Temporary Protected Status for El Salvador (scheduled to end on 9/9/19), Haiti (7/22/19), Nicaragua (1/5/19), and Sudan (11/2/18).  The injunction remains in place until the Court lifts it or the lawsuit ends.

Time 1 Minute Read

Earlier this year, the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) announced that it will terminate the temporary protected status (TPS) program for nationals of El Salvador on September 9, 2019.  Employment authorization documents (EADs) held by qualifying individuals that expired on March 9, 2018, were automatically extended through September 5, 2018, providing applicants time to apply for new EADs valid through the termination date.

Because the USCIS has been unable to process EAD extension applications in a timely manner, DHS has further extended the expired EADs through March 4 ...

Time 2 Minute Read

The New York Times features Suzan Kern in an interview with María, a woman who was sexually assaulted by a Corrections Corporation of America guard while under the custody of ICE, following her release on bond from the Hutto detention center in Texas. CCA violated the terms of its contract with ICE, which mandated that female detainees be transferred with at least one female guard. Instead, CCA’s male guard, Donald Dunn, who assaulted María, transported women alone 77 times in less than a year. “When he let her out of the van at the Austin airport, she ran,” Suzan, María’s pro ...

Time 2 Minute Read

In a closely watched asylum appeal, Attorney General Jeff Sessions has issued a decision that will adversely affect the ability of victims of domestic and gang violence to find protection in the United States.

Matter of A-B- was originally decided, in December 2016, in favor of the asylum seeker by the Board of Immigration Appeals.  The BIA is an administrative branch of the US Department of Justice.  It accepts appeals, filed by either government attorneys or immigrants, of decisions made by civil immigration courts throughout the country.

In late 2016, the BIA overturned the 2015 ...

Time 1 Minute Read

The Department of Homeland Security (DHS) announced that because the conditions in Honduras no longer support its designation for Temporary Protected Status (TPS), the designation set to expire on July 15, 2018, will terminate on January 5, 2020.  This conclusion is at odds with the State Department travel advisory, which says that travelers should reconsider travel to Honduras due to violent crime (murder, assault, rape, armed robbery, gang activity, etc.).  The travel advisory can be found here.

TPS allows qualifying persons inside the United States to remain and work ...

Time 2 Minute Read

The Department of Homeland Security (DHS) announced that because the conditions in El Salvador  no longer support its designation for Temporary Protected Status (TPS), the designation set to expire on March 9, 2018, will terminate on September 9, 2019.  This conclusion is at odds with the State Department travel advisory, which says that travelers should reconsider travel to El Salvador due to violent crime (murder, assault, rape, armed robbery, gang activity, etc.).  The travel advisory can be found here.

Time 1 Minute Read

The Department of Homeland Security (DHS) announced today that because the conditions in El Salvador no longer support its designation for Temporary Protected Status (TPS), the designation set to expire on March 9, 2018, will terminate in 18 months.  TPS allows qualifying persons inside the United States to remain and work lawfully in the United States until conditions in their home countries improve following civil war, natural disaster or similar extraordinary situations.  The final 18 months of designation gives those unable to acquire another legal status time to prepare to ...

Time 1 Minute Read

DHS announced that it is extending Temporary Protected Status (TPS) for nationals of South Sudan who already hold TPS. TPS allows qualifying individuals to remain and work lawfully in the United States until conditions in their home countries improve.  The new extension allows qualifying individuals from South Sudan to reapply for TPS and work authorization that will be valid until May 2, 2019. The re-registration period ends on November 20, 2017. Employment authorization documents held by qualifying individuals are automatically extended through May 1, 2018. Employers can rely ...

Time 2 Minute Read

Despite earlier hints that the “Dreamers” – undocumented youth who were brought to the United States illegally or lost their status while they were underage – might be allowed to retain their work permits and reprieve from deportation, Attorney General Sessions announced today that the Obama-era Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) program will end on March 5, 2018.  The six-month lag time is intended to allow Congress to codify DACA-like provisions into law.

Time 3 Minute Read

The Department of Homeland Security (DHS) has announced that it is extending Temporary Protected Status (TPS) designation for Haiti through January 22, 2018 – a much shorter period than the normal 18-month extension. This announcement allows qualifying individuals to reapply for TPS and work authorization during a 60-day period starting May 24, 2017. If TPS designation for Haiti is allowed to expire in January 2018, as DHS warns may happen, the nearly 60,000 persons enrolled in the program will be forced to return to Haiti, change to another status if eligible, or remain in the ...

Time 1 Minute Read

Starting today, March 4, 2013, USCIS will begin accepting applications for “provisional waiver” of unlawful presence from spouses, children and parents of U.S. citizens on Form I-601A.

As we explained in more detail in a previous post, these “immediate relatives” who qualify for the provisional waiver may now apply while they are still in the United States, and before they depart for their immigrant visa interviews at U.S. embassies and consulates in their home countries.  Before the provisional waiver process was established, they were required to travel abroad and be ...

Time 1 Minute Read

DHS Secretary Janet Napolitano announced today that undocumented youth who were brought here as children and who meet certain criteria are now eligible for "deferred action," a form of long-term relief from deportation that allows employment authorization and college attendance, but does not lead to a green card.  Known as DREAMers (after the Development, Relief and Education for Alien Minors Act, which Congress has failed to pass each time it has been introduced since 2001), these young people have become increasingly vocal and visible in public protests and in the media.

Time 1 Minute Read
USCIS has announced a range of benefits that may be available to Japanese nationals following the March 11 earthquake and tsunami in Japan. Those who are here on Visa Waiver, which requires departure within 90 days, may visit a local USCIS office (see USCIS Office Locator) for help in remaining longer. Those who are at US airports may visit the office of US Customs and Border Protection there. USCIS will approve changes of status and extensions that might not otherwise be approvable due to untimely filing or failure to maintain status. USCIS will also renew grants of parole, expedite ...
Time 1 Minute Read

Hunton & Williams LLP has received The National Law Journal's 2011 Pro Bono Award, recognizing six law firms that "best reflect the pro bono tradition"  The firm was lauded as one of three law firms that led the profession's response to the devastating earthquake in Haiti.

Representing Catholic Charities Immigration Legal Services, a Hunton & Williams team -- including attorney Suzan Kern and senior professional assistant Carol Schlenker of the immigration practice group -- urged the Department of Homeland Security to extend the deadline for Haitians in the United States to apply ...

Time 1 Minute Read
USCIS recently announced how the agency will implement the Help HAITI Act of 2010, which authorizes lawful permanent resident status (a "green card") for orphaned children from Haiti who were paroled into the United States after the January 12, 2010, earthquake under the "Haitian Orphan Parole Program."
Time 1 Minute Read
On March 26, 2009, President Obama extended Deferred Enforced Departure (DED) for qualifying Liberian nationals.  DED is used by the President as an exercise of his constitutional power to conduct foreign relations, and provides qualifying individuals a temporary stay of removal, as well as employment authorization.  In response to the President's announcement, the USCIS extended employment authorization documents (EADs) for Liberian nationals through March 31, 2010.  Qualifying Liberian nationals can take steps to obtain new EADs to allow them to continue working lawfully in ...

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