What is this mysterious ASPIRE TPS Act? Is anybody looking out for TPS holders?
In case you are not aware, the Trump administration recently announced that Temporary Protected Status (TPS) would end for those people from Nicaragua on January 5, 2018 and that TPS for those people from Honduras will only be renewed until July 2018. An announcement regarding TPS for those people from Haiti is expected by Thanksgiving 2017 as this designation is set to expire on January 22, 2018.
In light of these recent developments, several members of Congress (Rep. Yvette Clarke, D-NY., Ileana Ros-Lehtinen, R-FL, and Rep. Pramila Jayapal- D-WA) have recently announced that they are planning to introduce a new bill that would create a path from TPS to U.S. Lawful Permanent Residency (LPR) status. This to-be proposed bill has been called the ASPIRE TPS Act and has been referenced by its representatives on their Twitter accounts. (see also).
According to the cited publication regarding this to-be proposed legislation, in order for an individual to qualify for U.S. LPR status based on the legislation, requirements would include that the applicant have held TPS prior to January 1, 2017 and prove to a judge that they would face extreme hardship if forced to return to their home country. Also, it is reported that this bill would allow those people with TPS who have been in the U.S. for at least five years to be able to renew their status in six year increments; however, they would not qualify for U.S. LPR status based on the legislation unless they could prove extreme hardship. It is reported that a person applying for U.S. LPR status based on the legislation who had entered the U.S. unlawfully would not need to leave and re-enter the U.S. in order to be able to apply for U.S. LPR status.
Rep. Clarke hopes that Republicans will sign onto her bill since it is more conservative as applicants are not automatically granted U.S. LPR status and would need to prove to a judge that they would face extreme hardship if forced to return to their home country.
Rep Clarke announced on her Twitter that she presented the ASPIRE TPS Act with her fellow representatives, however, no further updates or details appear to be available on the internet regarding the ASPIRE TPS Act.
This bill would not be the only legislation introduced to Congress to help those affected by the Trump administration's decisions regarding TPS designations. The Extending Status Protection for Eligible Refugees with Established Residency Act of 2017 (ESPERER Act) was presented on October 31, 2017 to Congress by several representatives from Florida (Carlos Curbelo, Frederica Wilson, Ileana Ros-Lehtinen, and Alcee Hastings) and seeks to provide a path to U.S. LPR status for those people from Nicaragua, Haiti, El Salvador, and Honduras who received TPS by January 13, 2011 and were in the U.S. on January 12, 2011; according to the bill, the applicant will also need to have been physically present in the U.S. for at least a year before the filing of the adjustment of status.
Additionally, on November 3, 2017, several members of Congress (Nydia M. Velázquez, D-NY, Joe Crowley, D-NY, Ted Lieu, D-CA, and Karen Bass, D-CA) introduced the America Promise Act of 2017 to protect those people with TPS or Deferred Enforced Departure (DED) from deportation; this proposed legislation seeks to provide a path from TPS or DED for those individuals who have had this status (or were otherwise eligible for TPS) on or before October 1, 2017 and who will have at least three years of continuous physical presence in the U.S. from the effective date of the legislation. However, there is an exception to this three year requirement in the case that it is determined that the alien's removal will cause extreme hardship to the alien or other specified individuals.
Unfortunately, these bills are all in the very early stages of the legislative process and do not appear to be anything that a person who is losing TPS would be able to count on to remain in the U.S. If you find yourself in the situation where you will be losing or may be losing TPS and wish to remain in the U.S., you should consult with an immigration attorney regarding any options that you may have to avoid being deported as soon as possible.
***Please keep in mind that this blog posting is for educational purposes only (i.e., to give you general information and a general understanding of this immigration related matter); this blog posting does not provide specific legal advice and does not form an attorney-client relationship.***