Bloomberg Law
March 13, 2019, 12:48 PM

400,000 to Keep Temporary Immigration Protections—For Now

Laura D. Francis
Laura D. Francis

The Department of Homeland Security has agreed to keep temporary immigration protections in place for nationals of Honduras and Nepal as part of a lawsuit over the decision to terminate those protections.

The agency’s announcement was made in a March 12 court filing asking that the case be put on hold pending the outcome of an appeal in a similar lawsuit. Once that appeal has been decided, temporary protected status for Hondurans and Nepalis will remain in effect for at least 120 days.

The decision means that all of the nearly 400,000 foreign nationals with temporary protected status whose protections were ended by the Trump administration will be allowed to remain in the U.S. for now. TPS allows foreign nationals to live and work in the U.S. because of an armed conflict or natural disaster in their home countries.

The delay in ending TPS could provide a window for Congress to grant legal status to those covered by the program.

The same day that the DHS agreed to hold off on ending TPS for Honduras and Nepal, House Democrats introduced the Dream and Promise Act (H.R. 6), a bill that combines protections for young, undocumented immigrants with protections for TPS holders, including those whose protections haven’t yet ended. It also would grant legal status to some 11,000 Liberians under deferred enforced departure, a similar program to TPS.

Meanwhile, the groups behind another lawsuit filed over President Donald Trump’s decision to end DED for Liberians are asking the court to block that move, and quickly. DED for Liberians is scheduled to end March 31, and Congress isn’t likely to enact legislation in that short amount of time, they say.

Several lawsuits have been filed over the decision to end TPS for six countries: El Salvador, Haiti, Honduras, Nepal, Nicaragua, and Sudan. Among other things, they say the decisions had racist motivations, pointing to reported comments by the president about Haiti and African nations being “shithole countries” and that Latino immigrants are rapists and drug traffickers.

A federal judge in California temporarily blocked the administration from ending TPS for four of those countries in October.

To contact the reporter on this story: Laura D. Francis in Washington at

To contact the editors responsible for this story: Martha Mueller Neff at; Jay-Anne B. Casuga at