President Donald Trump’s Department of Homeland Security (DHS) Secretary Kirstjen Nielsen is extending a temporary amnesty status for more than 300,000 foreign nationals, a notice from the agency states.
In an announcement on Thursday, Nielsen said DHS would not only continue to comply with a preliminary injunction from last year — in which a federal judge in California blocked Trump’s rescinding of Temporary Protected Status (TPS) — but that the agency would be extending TPS for hundreds of thousands of nationals of Sudan, Haiti, Nicaragua, and El Salvador through January 2020.
Sudanese nationals have had their TPS extended since 1997, while Nicaraguans have enjoyed TPS since 1998. Likewise, El Salvador’s nationals have had TPS since about 2001, and Haitians have had their TPS renewed since about 2010.
Trump sought to end TPS for the more than 300,000 foreign resident population in the U.S., prompting a lawsuit from the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU). Now, though, Nielsen’s decision to extend TPS will allow the foreign nationals to stay in the country until at least January 2020, a reversal of the administration’s initial plan.
About 200,000 of the nationals protected by TPS in the latest DHS decision are from El Salvador, while another 50,000 are from Haiti. The remaining more than 50,000 nationals are from Sudan and Nicaragua.
TPS has become a quasi-amnesty for otherwise illegal aliens created under the Immigration and Nationality Act of 1990 (INA) that prevents the deportation of foreign nationals from countries that have suffered through famine, war, or natural disasters. Since the Clinton administration, TPS has been transformed into a de facto amnesty program as the Bush, Obama, and now Trump administration has continuously renewed the program for a variety of countries.
Pro-American immigration reformers like former Kansas Secretary of State Kris Kobach have argued that the TPS program has been abused by the open borders lobby and DHS officials.
At the beginning of 2020, DHS will announce whether the agency will once again renew TPS for the more than 300,000 foreign nationals or terminate their status.
John Binder is a reporter for Breitbart News. Follow him on Twitter at @JxhnBinder.