The Trump administration says migrants from six countries will be allowed to extend their legal residence in the United States.
The Trump administration said on Wednesday it would allow immigrants from six countries to extend their legal residency in the United States on a nine-month temporary status while courts consider its efforts to end the program.
President Donald Trump has long sought to end the program, which allows immigrants from countries devastated by war or natural disaster to legally live in the United States.
President-elect Joe Biden has promised “an immediate review” of him once he takes office and said he will pursue legislation to keep long-term residents in the United States and apply for citizenship.
The Department of Homeland Security announced the extension in a notice in the Federal Register. The extension applies to more than 300,000 people from countries like El Salvador and Haiti who are in the United States under what is officially known as Temporary Protected Status.
The program, in place since the 1990s, has been extended several times to certain countries.
DHS said the program was being extended until a court finalized an order allowing the administration to end the program for four countries that are part of a court challenge. The extension also applies to Honduras, Nicaragua, Nepal and Sudan.
In September, the 9th United States Circuit Court of Appeals lifted a preliminary injunction that prevented the government from ending TPS for people from El Salvador, Nicaragua, Haiti and Sudan.
DHS said, however, that the appeals court did not issue its direction to the district court to make the ruling effective so that the injunction remains in place.
Immigrant status is extended until October 4, 2021, starting with the current expiration date of January 4, 2021.
More than 400,000 people in 10 countries have protected status, including some 250,000 from El Salvador, according to the Congressional Research Service. El Salvador first obtained the TPS in 2001 after earthquakes displaced large parts of the population. Many GST holders now have spouses and children who are US citizens.
Honduras has around 80,000 TPS recipients, followed by Haiti with 55,000, Nepal with almost 15,000, Nicaragua with around 4,500 and Sudan with less than 1,000.