Temporary Protected Status: Current Immigration Policy and Issues [January 17, 2017] [open pdf - 577KB]
"When civil unrest, violence, or natural disasters erupt in spots around the world, concerns arise over the safety of foreign nationals from these troubled places who are in the United States. Provisions exist in the Immigration and Nationality Act (INA) to offer temporary protected status (TPS) and other blanket forms of relief from removal under specified circumstances. A foreign national who is granted TPS receives a registration document and an employment authorization for the duration of TPS. The Secretary of Homeland Security, in consultation with the Secretary of State, has the discretion to issue TPS for periods of 6 to 18 months and can extend these periods if conditions do not change in the designated country. Congress has also provided TPS legislatively. The United States currently provides TPS to over 300,000 foreign nationals from a total of 13 countries: El Salvador, Guinea, Haiti, Honduras, Liberia, Nepal, Nicaragua, Sierra Leone, Somalia, Sudan, South Sudan, Syria, and Yemen. Liberians have had relief from removal for the longest period, first receiving TPS in March 1991 following the outbreak of civil war, and again in 2014 due to the outbreak of the Ebola virus disease. On September 26, 2016, the Obama Administration announced that the TPS designation for Liberia, along with Sierra Leone and Guinea, would be terminated on May 21, 2017. Current debates have focused on whether the Administration should extend TPS to migrants from Central America because of criminal and security challenges in the region and whether it should re-designate TPS to Haiti due to effects of Hurricane Matthew."
CRS Report for Congress, RS20844
Federation of American Scientists: http://www.fas.org/sgp/crs/index.html