Once upon a time, before the now-threatened Arizona Amnesty Atrocity
—the McCain-Kolbe-Flake guest worker and temporary worker
legislative 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 pen.
The TPS program allows aliens from a designated country to remain in the United States while waiting for some crisis
in their homeland
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 banker
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.” debacle
While the pro-American divisions of the DHS are supposed
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 refugee
status, asylum, or a green card
through an immigrant
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 nine
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, 1994
- 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, 2004
- Nicaragua—from January 5, 1999 until January 5, 2005
- Somalia—from September 16, 1991 until September 17, 2004
- 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 bill
was introduced in Congress to grant TPS to Colombians.
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 ongoing permanent amnesty
that is the Justice Department`s delay-ridden
Immigration Court system
of the Executive Office for Immigration Review— EOIR
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 documented
rampant uninvestigated immigration fraud in the INS` service division long before the Department of Homeland Security
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 hurricane
It`s time for aliens benefiting from TPS largesse to go home and make their countries great.
It`s also the time to put the T back in TPS—or, better still, abolish the program entirely.
Juan Mann [send him
email] is a lawyer and the proprietor of