CFGI Quoted – “DHS Ends Protected Immigration Status for 2,500 Nicaraguans”

11/8/2017
SHRM


“Some 2,500 Nicaraguans living in the United States under a protected immigration status will lose their work authorization and be asked to change their status or leave the country by January 2019.

“The U.S. Department of Homeland Security…announced that it will not renew the Temporary Protected Status…designation for Nicaragua after nearly two decades, and is extending the status for 57,000 Hondurans for six months, at which time their fate will be considered.

“TPS was created by Congress in 1990 and offers foreign nationals temporary permission to live and work in the U.S., instead of being returned to countries that are deemed unsafe after facing natural disaster, armed conflict or other emergency situations. Nicaraguans and Hondurans were provided the provisional status and protected from deportation after Hurricane Mitch hit Central America in 1998, and their TPS has been routinely renewed ever since.

“…‘As TPS expires for various countries, key employees that have been with the organization for years could be without work authorization and employers could have to fill unanticipated vacancies,’ said Lynn Shotwell, executive director of the Council for Global Immigration…She added that employers may not even know if they have TPS recipients in their workforce but need to be mindful of antidiscrimination provisions of immigration law. Employers should not attempt to determine who is or is not a TPS recipient by looking at employment verification records or making inquiries if workers have not volunteered that information. In addition, employers should not terminate employees merely in anticipation that they may lose their work authorization at a future date.

“‘If your organization has known TPS recipients, it is reasonable to do workforce planning around how those positions will be filled if those employees lose work authorization,’ Shotwell said.

“…The Trump administration has indicated it will take a harder line on TPS than previously, primarily because the program is supposed to be temporary and was never intended to bestow long-term residency.

“Sen. Charles Grassley, R-Iowa, told DHS in a letter Oct. 30 that immigrants with temporary protected status are taking jobs that could be filled by unemployed U.S. workers and that the program needs to be reviewed.

“In September, DHS announced that it is terminating TPS for about 1,000 nationals of Sudan as of November 2018, but extended TPS for South Sudan for 18 months until May 2019 ‘because the ongoing armed conflict and extraordinary and temporary conditions that prompted the 2016 TPS redesignation have persisted."””

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