President Joe Biden’s administration has made two policy changes regarding illegal aliens that gives some a path to citizenship.
Almost half a million foreigners have been granted Temporary Protected Status by the U.S., which lets them remain in the country and legally work. TPS is granted to citizens in the U.S. who are from countries that would be unsafe to return to due to outbreaks of war, famine, disease or other events deemed dangerous.
Aliens granted TPS status by the Department of Homeland Security, who are allowed to legally remain in the U.S., may not be detained on the basis of their immigration status and may legally work and travel while here.
The largest group currently enjoying TPS status are Venezuelans with about 320,000 eligible for TPS, according to the National Immigration Forum. El Salvador is next with more than one-quarter of a million of them eligible.
Former President Donald Trump put the “temporary” back in TPS when he ordered 300,000 aliens kicked out of the U.S. in 2020. His order, which overcame lawsuits in California, ended a policy of rubber stamping renewals of TPS status every 18 months, even when countries had recovered from their disasters or wars.
The only real drawback for foreigners granted TPS status was that they were not eligible to become U.S. citizens unless they left the country and entered legally.
Now, President Biden has upended the calculus by saying that all beneficiaries who leave and then return will be “inspected and admitted,” a bureaucratic term that means one has entered the country legally. “This is true even if the TPS beneficiary was present without admission or parole when initially granted TPS,” the administration explained in an immigration alert.
“That basically launders the fact that they came here illegally and that will put them on the path to a green card,” Jessica Vaughan, policy studies director at the Center for Immigration Studies, told The Epoch Times.
Besides creating a citizenship path for TPS beneficiaries, the president has changed how time is calculated for illegal aliens who leave the country and return.
Illegals who were in the U.S. for less than one year must wait three years to be able to legally reenter the country; those here longer would be inadmissible unless they waited ten years to reenter.
Illegal aliens were expected to wait outside the United States, though, to comply with the law. USCIS has declared aliens may be inside the United States, and that will not reset the clock.
“The statutory 3-year or 10-year period begins to run on the day of departure or removal (whichever applies) after accrual of the period of unlawful presence,” the immigration agency explains in its policy manual. “This statutory period continues to run, without interruption, regardless of whether or how the noncitizen returned to the United States during the 3-year or 10-year period.”
“Thus, it is immaterial whether the noncitizen has spent the applicable statutory 3-year or 10-year period in or out of the United States.”
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