April 2

Biden Administrations Expansions of Temporary Protected Status: A Lifeline for Vulnerable Immigrants

Since President Biden took office in January 2021, his administration has indeed broadened access to TPS, providing temporary relief from deportation and the legal right to live and work in the U.S. for individuals from countries deemed unsafe due to conflict, natural disasters, or other crises (Pew Research Center) (Politico).

TPS provides temporary relief from deportation and allows individuals to legally live and
work in the U.S. when returning to their home countries is deemed unsafe due to conflict,
natural disasters, or other crises.

Expanding Temporary Protected Status

The expansion of TPS under the Biden administration has been substantial, with over 1 million
immigrants currently eligible for or receiving this status. Approximately 240,000 Venezuelan immigrants are among those benefiting from TPS protections, with recent expansions including nearly 500,000 individuals from Venezuela eligible for TPS and work authorization (Pew Research Center) (Politico).

In total, nearly 1.2 million noncitizen immigrants in the U.S. hail from 16 countries eligible for
TPS, including Afghanistan, Cameroon, El Salvador, Ethiopia, Haiti, Honduras, Myanmar,
Nepal, Nicaragua, Somalia, South Sudan, Sudan, Syria, Ukraine, Venezuela, and Yemen.

Recent expansions of TPS under the Biden administration have been motivated by dangerous
conditions in countries such as Cameroon, Myanmar, Syria, and Venezuela. These expansions
have opened doors for an estimated 480,000 immigrants, with the majority coming from
Venezuela.

Significant Increase in TPS Recipients

This proactive approach to TPS contrasts starkly with the previous administrations efforts to
curtail the program. While the Trump administration sought to terminate TPS for many
beneficiaries, President Biden has championed legislative measures to provide pathways to
permanent residency and citizenship for TPS recipients meeting certain criteria.

The Biden administrations commitment to TPS recipients is exemplified by its efforts to extend
protections to immigrants from additional countries, including Afghanistan, Cameroon, Ethiopia,
Myanmar, Ukraine, and Venezuela. Moreover, eligibility terms for immigrants from existing TPS-
designated countries have been extended, ensuring continued protection for vulnerable
populations.

It’s important to note that TPS recipients reside across all 50 states, the District of Columbia,
and U.S. territories, with sizable populations in Florida, Texas, California, and New York. Many
TPS beneficiaries have lived in the U.S. for decades, with some qualifying for protection since
the late 1990s or early 2000s due to catastrophic events in their home countries.

Legislative Efforts to Support TPS Recipients

Deferred Enforced Departure (DED) is another form of temporary relief from deportation granted
at the presidents discretion. Currently, immigrants from Liberia, Hong Kong, and the Palestinian
territories are eligible for DED, with provisions allowing them to apply for work authorization.

To qualify for TPS, applicants must meet filing deadlines, pay applicable fees, and demonstrate
continuous residence in the U.S. since the triggering events for TPS designation. Additionally,
applicants must meet criminal record requirements, including the absence of felony convictions
or multiple misdemeanors.

Conclusion

In summary, the Biden administrations expansions of Temporary Protected Status represent a
compassionate and pragmatic approach to immigration policy. By providing a lifeline to
vulnerable populations and offering opportunities for legal status, these initiatives uphold
Americas values of inclusivity and humanitarianism.

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