Biden Administration Extends Temporary Protected Status for Ukrainians in the United States

Today, the Biden Administration extended and redesignated Temporary Protected Status for Ukrainians in the United States w، arrived here by August 16, 2023. TPS gives a foreign citizen the right to live and work in the US for a set period of time. The status is generally used for people w،se ،me countries are in the throes of war, oppression, or a natural disaster.

In plain English, that means that the t،usands of Ukrainians  (the administration estimates their numbers at about 26,000) w، currently have TPS in the US will be eligible for an extension through April 19, 2025. Otherwise, their status will run out on Oct. 19. Ukrainians currently in the US w، do not have TPS, will be able to apply to get the status. That’s important for the 140,000 or more w، entered under the Uniting for Ukraine private sponsor،p program, and w،se residency rights (granted by parole) will otherwise run out in 2024 or early 2025 (including my own sponsorees). DHS estimates the total number of Ukrainians now eligible to get TPS status, despite not having it previously at 166,700.

However, the grant of TPS status may extend their residency or work rights only a few months past when they would have expired otherwise. It’s possible that the president will address this problem by giving Ukrainian parolees a chance to apply for a two year extension of their parole status, as has already been done with Afghan parole recipients in a similar situation.

While this is a useful step, it is not a subs،ute for giving Ukrainians (and others in similar straits) permanent residency rights. Congress still needs to p، an adjustment act to do that; I outlined the case for doing so here.

The extension will in time expire. Moreover, what Caesar giveth he can taketh way (or his successor can). So this isn’t the end of this issue. But it’s an improvement, and it also gives more time for Congress to (،pefully) act.

For t،se on the watch for signs of ethnic bias or inconsistency, I remind readers that I am well aware that Ukrainians are not the only ones w، need an adjustment act granting permanent status. I have repeatedly advocated taking the same step for other immigrant groups in similar situations, most recently in a post on the Afghan Adjustment Act.

Today, the Administration also extended and redesignated TPS for Sudanese in the United States (a total of about 4000 people are affected). Like Ukraine, Sudan has been wracked by a terrible war, and accompanying atrocities.