USCIS has recently issued a notice that Syrian nationals will soon be eligible for TPS, which is an 18-month status that allows beneficiaries to receive employment authorization. TPS is short for “Temporary Protected Status” and is available for certain countries where there is national disaster or country conditions, etc.
The registration period has not yet opened, so we need to check www.uscis.gov for updates to determine when Syrian nationals can actually file for this relief.
The USCIS has released a notice that Syrian nationals may now apply for TPS starting on March 29, 2012 until the deadline of September 25, 2012. The notice initially stated that the deadline is September 30, 2013, but this is incorrect. USCIS has released a new notice that clarifies that the deadline is in September of 2012. It is a good idea to file sooner than later, given the confusion over the correct deadline.
Individuals who habitually resided in Syria and are without nationality are also eligible for TPS. All applicants must present proof of residence here in the U.S. on March 29, 2012. Applicants with a criminal record may not be eligible for TPS, so individuals who have a criminal record and wish to apply for TPS should seek legal counsel before filing for TPS.
Examples of other countries eligible for TPS include El Salvador, Sudan and South Sudan, Somalia, Honduras, Nicaragua and Haiti.
The U.S. Department of Homeland Security has, through the Office of Immigration Statistics, issued its estimate of how many illegal immigrants are residing in the U.S. The report indicates that there are approximately 11.5 illegal immigrants residing in the U.S. during in January of 2011. The Report further estimates that more than half of these illegal immigrants entered the U.S. during the years of 1995 and 2004, and that since 2007, it is unlikely that the illegal U.S. population has significantly increased.
The Report indicates that since 2007, there is no real significant increase in the number of illegal immigrants due to the U.S. suffering from high unemployment and due to the economy in Mexico improving. The Report indicates that despite the greater levels of border enforcement, fewer apprehensions are taking place. The Report attributes the lower number of apprehensions at the U.S. border being due to lower demand for Mexican nationals to enter the U.S. for employment reasons.
The number of unauthorized immigrants in the U.S. has not always remained the same. In 1980, the number of illegal immigrants doubled from 2 million to 4 million in the U.S. This number jumped to over 8 million by the year of 2000. The numbers indicated above reflect an approximation of illegal immigrants, and not immigrants that have authorization to remain in the U.S.
Starting on October 18th, 2011, on TV on PBS or online at www.pbs.gov, Frontline will present a special called Lost in Detention. This special will feature footage of life in immigration detention as well as information on the Obama Administration’s enforcement based immigration policy.
USCIS has just announced that TPS has been extended for Haitians until January 22, 2013. This is an 18 month extension. Haitian applicants that have not filed for TPS may do so immediately. The DEADLINE for filing a TPS application for the first time is November 15, 2011. This deadline can be extended, but as of May 19, 2011, this is the current deadline.
Haitians that currently have TPS must wait to re-file, since USCIS is planning on issuing a notice of instructions for those individuals. However, Haitians who currently have TPS status must be sure to file to extend their TPS status before August 22, 2011.
Any Haitians that enter the U.S. illegally now are not eligible for TPS. Haitian applicants that apply now for TPS need to show they continually resided in the U.S. since January 12, 2011. All individuals who want to file for TPS should file forms I-821 and I-765, as well as any required fees or fee waiver and required documentation including a copy of one’s passport, I.D. and a birth certificate with translation if available. Other documents may be required, as determined based on each person’s circumstances.
I had the pleasure of being interviewed by Ericka Bennett with Action News Jacksonville on November 16, 2010 regarding the issue of how much control police have in arresting undocumented individuals. I thank Ericka Bennett for the opportunity.
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