Put the “Temporary” back in “Temporary Protected Status” – At Least!

Once upon a time, before the

Arizona Amnesty Atrocity
– the McCain-Kolbe-Flake

guest worker and temporary worker
legerdemain – there came a little non-deportation
program for illegal aliens called

“Temporary Protected Status”

Created by the Immigration Act of
1990, TPS has been allowing more illegal aliens to
arrive earlier, stay longer and get quicker
employment authorization ever since. The beauty of
TPS is that the federal bureaucracy can give it to whole
countries all at once with the stroke of a regulatory

The TPS program allows aliens from
a designated country to remain in the United States
while waiting for some

in their

to be over. All the illegal aliens and
lapsed or soon-to-lapse visa-holders from that country
need to do next is claim that they`ve entered the United
States before a certain date, register for the program,
and pick up their documents.

The problem, needless to say, is
that the crises never really end. TPS deadlines are
extended again and again.

Aliens who already have

lawful permanent resident status
don`t need TPS,
because their status doesn`t expire. And, of course,
some valid non-immigrant visa holders might legitimately
need TPS if their documents are about to expire. But
illegal aliens stand to benefit most from the program.
TPS registration acts like magic to stop deportation
proceedings for all aliens from designated countries.

Sure sounds like an amnesty, right?

TPS designations now fall within
the Department of Homeland Security`s pro-alien Bureau
of Citizenship and Immigration Services –BCIS. The domain of former international

Eduardo Aguirre, Jr., BCIS employs the same
folks from the examinations and asylum divisions of the
disbanded INS—purveyors of the “Citizenship U.S.A.”


While the pro-American divisions of
the DHS are



illegal aliens and criminal alien residents,
BCIS is dreaming up ways of letting more illegal aliens
stay longer.

And the TPS program is simply
another tool. If illegal aliens can`t manage to avail
themselves of

status, asylum, or a

green card
through an

petition, and they`re from one of the
lucky countries—or at least claim that they “last
habitually resided” there—there`s always TPS as a last
resort. It`s a no-frills way for illegal aliens to get
employment authorization.

Aliens from these

wonderful countries have so far been able to
stay under TPS during the following periods:

  • Burundi
    —from November 4, 1997 until November 2, 2003

  • El Salvador
    —from March 9, 2001 until March 9, 2005;
    and previously from January 1, 1991 until December 31,

  • Honduras
    —from January 5, 1999 until January 5, 2005

  • Liberia
    —from October 1, 2002 until October 1, 2004;
    and previously from March 27, 1991 until March 31, 1998;
    and September 29, 1998 until July 30, 1999

  • Montserrat
    —from August 28, 1997 until August 27,

  • Nicaragua
    —from January 5, 1999 until January 5, 2005

  • Somalia
    —from September 16, 1991 until September 17,

  • Sudan
    —from November 4, 1997 until November 2, 2003

Deadlines are constantly being
extended. Just recently, the TPS expiration for Liberia
was pushed back another year as of August 7. Illegal
aliens from Somalia just got another year of TPS as of
July 21. And on July 24, a

was introduced in Congress to grant TPS to

So it looks like there`s no end in
sight for the TPS program and no limits on how far it
can go.

In the case of

seven more
countries, the deadline did expire. But
that doesn`t mean anyone from these countries actually
went home. Just because a TPS period is over, it doesn`t
mean the aliens
are going to be systematically deported anytime soon—or
that the TPS designation won`t rise again.

  • Angola
    —from March 29, 2000 to March 29, 2003

  • Kuwait
    —from March 27, 1991 until March 27, 1992

  • Lebanon
    —from March 27, 1991 until March 28, 1993

  • Rwanda
    —from June 7, 1994 until December 6, 1997

While the designation is in effect,
TPS functions as a get-out-of-jail-free card in the

permanent amnesty
that is the Justice Department`s

Immigration Court

of the Executive Office for Immigration


And as with other alien give-away
programs with specific registration requirements, there
is precious little the federal government can do to
dispute a particular alien`s claim that he entered
the United States illegally before a particular date.
The Government Accounting Office already

rampant uninvestigated immigration fraud
in the INS` service division long before the

Department of Homeland Security
came along.

And as always, the incentives for
fraud are greater than ever. With TPS, there`s nothing
to lose.

Top TPS triumph: Aliens
registering from

Honduras and Nicaragua
hit the TPS jackpot – legal
work authorization and non-deportation for six years
running! Their January 5, 1999 TPS remains in effect
today—until January 5, 2005—all because of a

in 1998.

It`s time for aliens benefiting
from TPS largesse to go home and make their countries

It`s also the time to put the T
back in TPS—or, better still, abolish the program

Juan Mann [send him
] is a lawyer and the proprietor of