Reporter Memo: Legislative Action for TPS Recipients

Reporter Memo: Legislative Action for TPS Recipients

Introduction

As a direct result of the Trump Administration’s decision to terminate Temporary Protected Status (TPS) for three countries in the past three months (Haiti, Nicaragua, and Sudan) the need for a legislative, and permanent solution has intensified.

Over 300,000 TPS recipients living in the United States are living in jeopardy, some of whom have already been told that their status will be ending in the coming months.  For example, over 50,000 Haitians learned during the week of Thanksgiving that they would be losing their immigration status.  Additionally, the country-specific cancellations of TPS could affect as many as 192,000 American children who have at least one parent who relies on TPS to live and work lawfully in the United States.

Temporary Protected Status (TPS) is a temporary immigration status granted to people in the United States from designated countries facing armed conflict, disaster, or other critical situations. These decisions are made in 6, 12, or 18-month increments. The three countries with the largest TPS populations in the United States are El Salvador, Honduras, and Haiti. Many have been here over 20 years and are the most vetted immigrant population in the United States. Over time, these individuals have become integral members of American society. They contribute to the local and national economy, working in critical industries for local communities such as health care, construction and hospitality, and are civically engaged in their communities.

Legislative Summary

Currently there are three bills filed in the U.S. House of Representatives and one in the U.S. Senate that could bring relief to TPS holders. Three of those bills provide a path to become Lawful Permanent Residents (LPR).

The four bills are:

The ESPERER Act of 2017 (HR 4184), led by Rep. Carlos Curbelo (R-FL), has bipartisan support from 12 Members of Congress and would allow nationals of El Salvador, Haiti, Honduras, and Nicaragua who have had Temporary Protected Status to adjust to LPR status.

The American Promise Act of 2017 (HR 4253), led by Rep. Nydia Velasquez (D-NY), has 55 Democrat cosponsors and provides a path to LPR status for all TPS holders as well as some close family members.

The ASPIRE TPS Act of 2017 (HR 4384), led by Rep. Yvette Clarke (D-NY), with bipartisan support from 14 cosponsors, would allow certain recipients of TPS to apply for a new form of protected status good for renewable, six-year terms. In cases of extreme hardship, the TPS holder would be able to adjust to LPR status.

The SECURE Act (S. 2144), led by Sen. Chris Van Hollen (D-MD), is the only Senate bill that aims to provide relief for TPS recipients. It has drawn support from 13 Democrat cosponsors to date. The bill would allow certain TPS holders and close family members to adjust to LPR status.

The following table provides a side-by-side comparison of the four bills:

Title ESPERER Act of 2017 (H.R. 4184) American Promise Act of 2017 (H.R. 4253) ASPIRE TPS Act 2017 (H.R. 4384) SECURE Act

(S. 2144)

Sponsor Rep. Carlos Curbelo (R‐FL, 26) Rep. Nydia Velazquez (D‐NY, 7) Rep. Yvette Clarke (D‐NY, 9) Sen. Chris Van Hollen (D‐MD)
Adjustment Adjustment of status to lawfully admitted for permanent residence (LPR). Spouse, or unmarried minor or adult child of successful applicant may also adjust status to lawfully admitted for permanent residence subject to certain conditions. Adjustment of status to lawfully admitted for permanent residence (LPR). Spouse, parent, or unmarried minor or adult child of successful applicant may also adjust status subject to certain conditions. Adjustment of status to renewable 6‐year protected status. Adjustment to lawfully admitted for permanent residence (LPR) in cases of extreme hardship. Adjustment of family members only through current law mechanisms. Adjustment of status to lawfully admitted for permanent residence (LPR). Spouse, domestic partner, parent, or unmarried minor or adult child of successful applicant may also adjust status subject to certain conditions.
Application deadline for adjustment Must apply before January 1, 2021. Must apply within 3 years after bill’s date of enactment. Must apply within registration period established by the Secretary of Homeland Security, which must be at least one year. No deadline specified.
Eligible countries Haiti, Nicaragua, El Salvador, or Honduras. All 13 countries that were designated for TPS or Deferred Enforced Departure (DED) as of January 1, 2017. All 13 countries that were designated for TPS or DED as of January 1, 2017. All countries that have been designated for TPS, or that are designated in the future.
TPS status or eligibility Have TPS status on January 13, 2011 and on the date of application. Have been granted or eligible for TPS, or granted DED on or before October 1, 2017. Had been granted or was eligible for TPS or DED on January 1, 2017. Have or had been granted TPS, or eligible for TPS at the time the last designation was made.
Residence and TPS eligibility requirements Meets the TPS residence requirements for the nationality, was physically present in the U.S. on January 12, 2011, has been physically present for at least one year, and is physically present on the application date. Meets the TPS residence requirements for the nationality, plus continuous physical presence in the U.S. for at least 3 years. Waiver of the 3‐year requirement authorized in cases of extreme hardship and brief or emergency absences would not count against the requirement. Meets the TPS residence requirements for the nationality, plus continuous residence in the U.S. for at least 5 years. Brief, casual and innocent absences would not count against the 5‐year continuous residence requirement and it does not apply to persons applying for adjustment due to extreme hardship. Meets the the TPS residence requirements for the nationality, plus continuous physical presence in the U.S. for at least 3 years and physically present on date of application. One or more absences of 180 days or less do not count against the 3‐year requirement and a waiver is authorized in cases of extreme hardship.
Other requirements Must meet the current law criminal, national security, and specified other grounds of admissibility and nondeportability, plus must not have been convicted of a felony or more than 2 misdemeanors. That is in addition to the criminal, national security, and other requirements to be eligible for TPS. Must meet all current law criminal, national security, and other requirements for admissibility, except that public charge and certain other grounds don’t apply, and all others may be waived. That is in addition to the criminal, national security, and other requirements to be eligible for TPS. Must meet the TPS criminal, national security, and other requirements, except that the following may not be considered: (1) misdemeanors committed more than 6 years before the application and (2) expunged offenses. Must meet current law criminal, national security, and certain other requirements for admissibility and deportability. That is in addition to the criminal, national security, and other requirements to be eligible for TPS.
Fees Fee based on assessment of cost to the government (current law) Fee based on assessment of cost to the government (current law) $50 plus standard work authorization fee Fee based on assessment of cost to the government (current law)
Deportation relief Yes, while application pending Yes, while application pending Yes, if prima facie eligible and application pending or within first 30 days of registration period. Yes, while application pending or if individual is prima facie eligible and indicates intent to file application.
Work authorization while application under review? Yes, after 180 days. At DHS discretion prior to that. Yes. Yes, if prima facie eligible and application pending or within first 30 days of registration period. Yes.
Path to citizenship Individual typically can apply for naturalization 5 years after adjusting to LPR status under the bill (current law). Individual can only apply for naturalization 5 years after adjusting to LPR status under the bill. English language test is waived and applicant may take the civics test in their own language. No path to citizenship for those granted new 6‐year protected status. Those granted LPR status under the extreme hardship provision typically can apply for naturalization 5 years after adjusting to LPR status (current law). Individual typically can apply for naturalization 5 years after adjusting to LPR status under the bill (current law).
TPS reforms n/a n/a Specifies that TPS holders shall be considered inspected and admitted to the US under immigration law, eliminating a current limitation that prevents many from adjusting to LPR status when they are otherwise qualified to do so. Also provides that expunged convictions are not counted for TPS eligibility. n/a

All the bills have strong Democratic support, however, Rep. Curbelo’s ESPERER Act has drawn the most Republican co-sponsors. A full list of co-sponsors follows:

H.R. 4184, ESPERER Act

Rep. Hastings, Alcee L. [D-FL-20] 10/31/2017
Rep. Ros-Lehtinen, Ileana [R-FL-27] 10/31/2017
Rep. Wilson, Frederica S. [D-FL-24]* 10/31/2017
Rep. Wasserman Schultz, Debbie [D-FL-23] 11/01/2017
Rep. Clarke, Yvette D. [D-NY-9] 11/06/2017
Rep. Cummings, Elijah E. [D-MD-7] 11/06/2017
Rep. Diaz-Balart, Mario [R-FL-25] 11/07/2017
Rep. Soto, Darren [D-FL-9] 11/08/2017
Rep. Murphy, Stephanie N. [D-FL-7] 11/28/2017
Rep. Capuano, Michael E. [D-MA-7] 11/28/2017
Rep. Smith, Christopher H. [R-NJ-4] 11/28/2017
Rep. King, Peter T. [R-NY-2] 11/28/2017

2144, SECURE Act

Sen. Cardin, Benjamin L. [D-MD] 11/16/2017
Sen. Feinstein, Dianne [D-CA] 11/16/2017
Sen. Reed, Jack [D-RI] 11/16/2017
Sen. Hirono, Mazie K. [D-HI] 11/16/2017
Sen. Gillibrand, Kirsten E. [D-NY] 11/16/2017
Sen. Markey, Edward J. [D-MA] 11/16/2017
Sen. Harris, Kamala D. [D-CA] 11/16/2017
Sen. Whitehouse, Sheldon [D-RI] 11/16/2017
Sen. Cortez Masto, Catherine [D-NV] 11/16/2017
Sen. Klobuchar, Amy [D-MN] 11/30/2017
Sen. Booker, Cory A. [D-NJ] 11/30/2017
Sen. Warren, Elizabeth [D-MA] 11/30/2017

H.R. 4253 AMERICAN PROMISE Act

Rep. Lieu, Ted [D-CA-33] 11/03/2017
Rep. Bass, Karen [D-CA-37] 11/03/2017
Rep. Crowley, Joseph [D-NY-14] 11/03/2017
Rep. Norton, Eleanor Holmes [D-DC-At Large] 11/03/2017
Rep. McGovern, James P. [D-MA-2] 11/03/2017
Rep. Demings, Val Butler [D-FL-10] 11/03/2017
Rep. Espaillat, Adriano [D-NY-13] 11/03/2017
Rep. Carson, Andre [D-IN-7] 11/03/2017
Rep. Gomez, Jimmy [D-CA-34] 11/03/2017
Rep. Vargas, Juan [D-CA-51] 11/03/2017
Rep. Grijalva, Raul M. [D-AZ-3] 11/03/2017
Rep. Napolitano, Grace F. [D-CA-32] 11/03/2017
Rep. Torres, Norma J. [D-CA-35] 11/03/2017
Rep. Lujan Grisham, Michelle [D-NM-1] 11/03/2017
Rep. Rice, Kathleen M. [D-NY-4] 11/03/2017
Rep. Castro, Joaquin [D-TX-20] 11/03/2017
Rep. Evans, Dwight [D-PA-2] 11/03/2017
Rep. Suozzi, Thomas R. [D-NY-3] 11/06/2017
Rep. Clarke, Yvette D. [D-NY-9] 11/06/2017
Rep. Conyers, John, Jr. [D-MI-13] 11/07/2017
Rep. Serrano, Jose E. [D-NY-15] 11/07/2017
Rep. Cummings, Elijah E. [D-MD-7] 11/07/2017
Rep. Maloney, Carolyn B. [D-NY-12] 11/07/2017
Rep. Quigley, Mike [D-IL-5] 11/07/2017
Rep. Brown, Anthony G. [D-MD-4] 11/08/2017
Rep. Gallego, Ruben [D-AZ-7] 11/08/2017
Rep. Pallone, Frank, Jr. [D-NJ-6] 11/08/2017
Rep. Lofgren, Zoe [D-CA-19] 11/09/2017
Rep. Jayapal, Pramila [D-WA-7] 11/13/2017
Rep. Schakowsky, Janice D. [D-IL-9] 11/13/2017
Rep. Welch, Peter [D-VT-At Large] 11/14/2017
Rep. DeSaulnier, Mark [D-CA-11] 11/16/2017
Rep. Lewis, John [D-GA-5] 11/21/2017
Rep. Gutierrez, Luis V. [D-IL-4] 11/21/2017
Rep. Hanabusa, Colleen [D-HI-1] 11/21/2017
Rep. Lowey, Nita M. [D-NY-17] 11/21/2017
Rep. Smith, Adam [D-WA-9] 11/28/2017
Rep. Lee, Barbara [D-CA-13] 11/28/2017
Rep. Capuano, Michael E. [D-MA-7] 11/28/2017
Rep. Slaughter, Louise McIntosh [D-NY-25] 11/28/2017
Rep. Larsen, Rick [D-WA-2] 11/28/2017
Rep. Sanchez, Linda T. [D-CA-38] 11/28/2017
Rep. Roybal-Allard, Lucille [D-CA-40] 11/29/2017
Rep. Panetta, Jimmy [D-CA-20] 11/30/2017
Rep. Clark, Katherine M. [D-MA-5] 11/30/2017
Rep. Kennedy, Joseph P., III [D-MA-4] 12/01/2017
Rep. Bonamici, Suzanne [D-OR-1] 12/01/2017
Rep. Pocan, Mark [D-WI-2] 12/04/2017
Rep. Ellison, Keith [D-MN-5] 12/04/2017
Rep. Meng, Grace [D-NY-6] 12/06/2017
Rep. Scott, Robert C. “Bobby” [D-VA-3] 12/06/2017
Rep. Chu, Judy [D-CA-27] 12/06/2017
Rep. Payne, Donald M., Jr. [D-NJ-10] 12/06/2017
Rep. Green, Gene [D-TX-29] 12/06/2017
Rep. Matsui, Doris O. [D-CA-6] 12/11/2017

H.R. 4384 ASPIRE TPS Act

Rep. Ros-Lehtinen, Ileana [R-FL-27] 11/14/2017
Rep. Jayapal, Pramila [D-WA-7] 11/14/2017
Rep. Lofgren, Zoe [D-CA-19] 11/14/2017
Rep. Jackson Lee, Sheila [D-TX-18] 11/14/2017
Rep. McGovern, James P. [D-MA-2] 11/14/2017
Rep. Lee, Barbara [D-CA-13] 11/14/2017
Rep. Hastings, Alcee L. [D-FL-20] 11/14/2017
Rep. Wilson, Frederica S. [D-FL-24] 11/14/2017
Rep. Correa, J. Luis [D-CA-46] 11/14/2017
Rep. Conyers, John, Jr. [D-MI-13] 11/16/2017
Rep. Love, Mia B. [R-UT-4] 11/16/2017
Rep. Lowey, Nita M. [D-NY-17] 11/28/2017
Rep. Gutierrez, Luis V. [D-IL-4] 11/28/2017
Rep. Lewis, John [D-GA-5] 11/29/2017

Source: http://americasvoice.org/press_releases/reporter-memo-temporary-protected-status/