Despite President Joe Biden’s countless immigration policy blunders that he needs to fix, his administration has opted to instead extend amnesty-lite to nationals of two nations. On March 2, Department of Homeland Security (DHS) Secretary Alejandro Mayorkas announced new Temporary Protected Status (TPS) designations for Sudan and South Sudan.
These new TPS allotments will allow 2,390 Sudanese nationals to enroll in the program, in addition to the more than 700 that currently have protected status. Also, another 235 South Sudanese nationals will be eligible for TPS, adding to the 97 who already hold it.
The DHS secretary said, “Sudan is currently experiencing political instability and unrest, and armed conflict in Sudan has displaced millions of residents.” He continued, “After careful consideration, I have decided to offer temporary protection to Sudanese and South Sudanese in the United States until conditions in each country improve and individuals can safely return.”
In 1990, Congress created TPS to provide non-resident foreign nationals on expiring visas and unlawful migrants protection from removal if their home county was undergoing an armed conflict, an environmental disaster, or other life-threatening temporary conditions. On top of receiving temporary legal residency in the U.S. for 18 months, recipients can also obtain work authorization and may be permitted to travel outside the country.
TPS might have been created with good intentions. However, it is continuously renewed by presidential administrations of both political parties despite the initial qualifying conditions no longer applying to the designated nations. Subsequently, TPS has become a “soft amnesty,” as foreign nationals under this program almost always get a new designation and are rarely repatriated to their home countries, even when country conditions have improved.
Sudan was granted TPS in 1997 due to an armed conflict it was experiencing. In 2011, South Sudan received TPS because of the civil war that occurred after it became a sovereign state. As a result, the citizens of both nations could not return to their respective countries safely during the height of these skirmishes.
However, as DHS pointed out in 2017, country conditions in Sudan significantly improved, such as experiencing a decrease in violence and improved access to food and humanitarian aid, allowing the Sudanese to be returned without their safety at risk. DHS should have returned the Sudanese to their home country during that time instead of allowing them to stay in the U.S.
Since its inception, TPS has been misused by illegal aliens to obtain de facto permanent residency. In addition, rubberstamping designations of this program every 18 months when the qualifying criteria are no longer active worsens illegal immigration at the southern border, as migrants may try to enter the U.S. unlawfully to take advantage of the next iteration of TPS. The U.S. should not be rewarding immigration lawbreakers through this faulty program.
When DHS determines it is safe for South Sudan and Sudan citizens to return to their homelands, it should do so rather than provide new TPS designations. Allowing foreign nationals to remain in the U.S. indefinitely reduces the chances of these individuals ever returning home, where they could help improve their respective countries.
Unless this program is reigned in, Americans can expect that temporary protection will quickly become a permanent presence.