The Department of Homeland Security announced Wednesday that Temporary Protected Status (TPS), which protects people from certain nations from deportation, has been extended for two years for Yemeni immigrants.
The Middle Eastern country is currently embroiled in a civil war with Iranian-backed militias fighting the Saudi Arabian-supported government. Yemen has had TPS since 2015 and the announcement Wednesday extends their protection through Sept. 3, 2018.
TPS beneficiaries are not eligible to receive lawful permanent resident status or a “green card,” but they can live in the U.S. free of risk of deportation, and receive work permits, drivers’ licenses,access to certain welfare programs, and social security.
TPS is an a form of executive amnesty and administered through the DHS and can be continually renewed. Some Somali TPS beneficiaries have been in the U.S. for more than 20 years, according to the Migration Policy Institute. Eligibility for TPS is also very lenient — an illegal immigrant who arrived from Yemen Wednesday would be allowed to receive it.
The countries which currently receive TPS are El Salvador, Guinea, Haiti, Honduras, Liberia, Nepal, Nicaragua, Sierra Leone, Somalia, Sudan, South Sudan, Syria, and Yemen. According to the Center for Immigration Studies, over 430,000 individuals currently receive TPS.
President-elect Donald Trump did not mention TPS on the campaign trail, but as it is administered through the executive branch, he could easily reverse current policies.