Sharlene Sharmila Richards

Q: I have Temporary Protected Status (TPS). I am from El Salvador. I came the US without inspection or illegally and have been renewing my TPS. President Trump terminated TPS designation recently. Is it necessary to renew my TPS any further?
A: The termination of TPS for Salvadorans will not be effective until September 9th, 2019. Since TPS designation has been terminated, this means that after September 9th, 2019, it cannot be extended any further beyond that date. I do strongly recommend that you continue to maintain your TPS status. Please re-register for your TPS because if you do not, you will lose your TPS immediately. The re-registration period for Salvadoran TPS runs from January 18th, 2018 through March 19th, 2018.
Q: As a TPS holder facing eventual deportation from this country because of the termination, I like to know what options I have, if any, to be able to continue to stay legally in the US after September 9th, 2019. I came illegally to the US and have held TPS for many, many years. I have not been convicted of any crimes. I have a wife who is also undocumented and three US Citizen children. My son just turned 21 years of age. I have never left the US since I last came here and have always resided in Texas. I have never worked without authorization as I always have my TPS Employment Authorization Document. I am just so disheartened that I may have to leave this country and my children and family. I also have a landscaping business and my company hires more than 15 employees. I have filed taxes for as long as I can remember.
A: You have one possible option. I recommend that you consider moving to a jurisdiction under either the 6th or 9th circuit. This will include States such as Kentucky, Michigan, Ohio, Tennessee (6th) or Alaska, Arizona, California, Hawaii, Idaho, Montana, Nevada, Oregon and Washington (9th). In these jurisdictions, because of recent case law (Ramirez & Flores) which treats the grant of TPS as constituting an ‘admission’ for purposes of adjustment of status under Section 245(a) of the INA there is a possibility that you will qualify to adjust. If you are not otherwise inadmissible for any other reason and have not worked without lawful authorization, you might be able to adjust your status to a permanent resident. If you are eligible, your US Citizen son will petition for you as his immediate relative (because you are the parent of US Citizen) and you will proceed to file your adjustment of status to permanent resident concurrently with his petition.
Q: I am a TPS holder and I have already applied for re-registration of my TPS. 3 years ago I had to travel back to El Salvador because my mother was gravely ill and to attend her funeral. I had returned back on advance parole and was paroled in. With the sudden news that now TPS has been terminated, I have decided that I will marry my US Citizen girlfriend. Can I apply to adjust my status to a permanent resident based on my marriage?
A: Yes, you should be able to apply to adjust your status based on marriage to your US Citizen spouse. This is because your parole under the advance parole three years is considered an admission for purposes of adjustment of status.
Q: I came here to the US illegally. I am a TPS holder and I am going to apply for the last re-registration of my TPS next week. My wife of 20 years who was also a TPS holder just passed away and we did not have any children. I am preparing to come to terms that I may have to return to El Salvador, a country I have never been to for more than 20 years. I do not have any family there as my parents have passed away and my only sibling was murdered. Looking at the possibility that I may have to sell our house and close my business is really painful for me. Is there anything else I can do or hope for so that I can possibly continue to stay legally in the US after September 9th, 2019?
A: With the current anti-immigrant climate, and the uncertainty of what is really going to happen to Salvadoran TPS holders who have not found a another way to legalize status, there is still hope that perhaps somehow there will be some form of legislation to address this problem and give TPS holders a pathway to some semblance of stability here. There are two bipartisanship House bills. The Extending Status Protection for Eligible Refugees proposes to allow certain qualified TPS holders and their family from El Salvador, Haiti, Nicaragua and Honduras to adjust status to permanent resident and the American Promise Act which proposes adjustment of all TPS holders and their family member whose country was designated as of 01/01/2017 to adjust status. In addition, there is a Senate bill as well – the SECURE Act with similar provisions as the American Promise Act.
Disclaimer: Any advice provided in this article is general in nature and not intended to constitute legal advice for any specific case. Please consult with an immigration lawyer about the specific circumstances of your case.
My Bio
Sharlene Sharmila Richards is a licensed Immigration lawyer practicing in Houston, Texas. She is a member of the American Immigration Lawyers Association. She was admitted to the New York State Bar in 2000 and is a member of the 5th Circuit Court of Appeals and a member of the US Supreme Court. You may contact her at telephone number 713-623-8088 or by email at srichardslaw@aol.com to schedule a free consultation to discuss your case.

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