Trump Administration Quietly Blocking TPS Holders From Permanent Residency, Say Attorneys

Immigration attorneys say the Trump Administration has started to reject its own written rules, effectively making it impossible for many people with Temporary Protected Status to get permanent residency in the United States.

Audio, News Story (Florida)

Daniel Rivero
WLRN (South Florida)
November 4, 2019

Tags: Immigration

Organizations mentioned/involved: Catholic Legal Services (Miami)


“We have had dozens and dozens of cases impacted by this change,” said Randy McGrorty, the executive director of Catholic Legal Services of Miami, a group that works through the Archdiocese of Miami. “The new policy overturns a decade long practice. And it’s happened without notice, without any legal analysis, and frankly without any justification in the law.”

The vast majority of impacted cases in South Florida come from Haitian TPS holders, “because that’s the demographic in Miami,” said McGrorty. But seemingly all beneficiaries of TPS are being targeted, he noted.

The change itself comes down to a shift in a longstanding interpretation of internal policy and law. For years, people who were protected by TPS were able to leave the U.S. and then reenter, even if they initially entered the country illegally. Upon reentering the U.S. after traveling abroad, they would technically be “paroled” into the country. This would allow them to apply to become permanent residents with U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) — a first step towards becoming a U.S. citizen.