8 U.S.C. § 1254a - U.S. Code - Unannotated Title 8. Aliens and Nationality § 1254a. Temporary protected status

(a) Granting of status

(1) In general

In the case of an alien who is a national of a foreign state designated under subsection (b) of this section (or in the case of an alien having no nationality, is a person who last habitually resided in such designated state) and who meets the requirements of subsection (c) of this section, the Attorney General, in accordance with this section--

(A)  may grant the alien temporary protected status in the United States and shall not remove the alien from the United States during the period in which such status is in effect, and

(B)  shall authorize the alien to engage in employment in the United States and provide the alien with an “employment authorized” endorsement or other appropriate work permit.

(2) Duration of work authorization

Work authorization provided under this section shall be effective throughout the period the alien is in temporary protected status under this section.

(3) Notice

(A)  Upon the granting of temporary protected status under this section, the Attorney General shall provide the alien with information concerning such status under this section.

(B)  If, at the time of initiation of a removal proceeding against an alien, the foreign state (of which the alien is a national) is designated under subsection (b) of this section, the Attorney General shall promptly notify the alien of the temporary protected status that may be available under this section.

(C)  If, at the time of designation of a foreign state under subsection (b) of this section, an alien (who is a national of such state) is in a removal proceeding under this subchapter, the Attorney General shall promptly notify the alien of the temporary protected status that may be available under this section.

(D)  Notices under this paragraph shall be provided in a form and language that the alien can understand.

(4) Temporary treatment for eligible aliens

(A)  In the case of an alien who can establish a prima facie case of eligibility for benefits under paragraph (1), but for the fact that the period of registration under subsection (c)(1)(A)(iv) of this section has not begun, until the alien has had a reasonable opportunity to register during the first 30 days of such period, the Attorney General shall provide for the benefits of paragraph (1).

(B)  In the case of an alien who establishes a prima facie case of eligibility for benefits under paragraph (1), until a final determination with respect to the alien's eligibility for such benefits under paragraph (1) has been made, the alien shall be provided such benefits.

(5) Clarification

Nothing in this section shall be construed as authorizing the Attorney General to deny temporary protected status to an alien based on the alien's immigration status or to require any alien, as a condition of being granted such status, either to relinquish nonimmigrant or other status the alien may have or to execute any waiver of other rights under this chapter.  The granting of temporary protected status under this section shall not be considered to be inconsistent with the granting of nonimmigrant status under this chapter.

(b) Designations

(1) In general

The Attorney General, after consultation with appropriate agencies of the Government, may designate any foreign state (or any part of such foreign state) under this subsection only if--

(A)  the Attorney General finds that there is an ongoing armed conflict within the state and, due to such conflict, requiring the return of aliens who are nationals of that state to that state (or to the part of the state) would pose a serious threat to their personal safety;

(B)  the Attorney General finds that--

(i)  there has been an earthquake, flood, drought, epidemic, or other environmental disaster in the state resulting in a substantial, but temporary, disruption of living conditions in the area affected,

(ii)  the foreign state is unable, temporarily, to handle adequately the return to the state of aliens who are nationals of the state, and

(iii)  the foreign state officially has requested designation under this subparagraph;  or

(C)  the Attorney General finds that there exist extraordinary and temporary conditions in the foreign state that prevent aliens who are nationals of the state from returning to the state in safety, unless the Attorney General finds that permitting the aliens to remain temporarily in the United States is contrary to the national interest of the United States.

A designation of a foreign state (or part of such foreign state) under this paragraph shall not become effective unless notice of the designation (including a statement of the findings under this paragraph and the effective date of the designation) is published in the Federal Register.  In such notice, the Attorney General shall also state an estimate of the number of nationals of the foreign state designated who are (or within the effective period of the designation are likely to become) eligible for temporary protected status under this section and their immigration status in the United States.

(2) Effective period of designation for foreign states

The designation of a foreign state (or part of such foreign state) under paragraph (1) shall--

(A)  take effect upon the date of publication of the designation under such paragraph, or such later date as the Attorney General may specify in the notice published under such paragraph, and

(B)  shall remain in effect until the effective date of the termination of the designation under paragraph (3)(B).

For purposes of this section, the initial period of designation of a foreign state (or part thereof) under paragraph (1) is the period, specified by the Attorney General, of not less than 6 months and not more than 18 months.

(3) Periodic review, terminations, and extensions of designations

(A) Periodic review

At least 60 days before end of the initial period of designation, and any extended period of designation, of a foreign state (or part thereof) under this section the Attorney General, after consultation with appropriate agencies of the Government, shall review the conditions in the foreign state (or part of such foreign state) for which a designation is in effect under this subsection and shall determine whether the conditions for such designation under this subsection continue to be met.  The Attorney General shall provide on a timely basis for the publication of notice of each such determination (including the basis for the determination, and, in the case of an affirmative determination, the period of extension of designation under subparagraph (C)) in the Federal Register.

(B) Termination of designation

If the Attorney General determines under subparagraph (A) that a foreign state (or part of such foreign state) no longer continues to meet the conditions for designation under paragraph (1), the Attorney General shall terminate the designation by publishing notice in the Federal Register of the determination under this subparagraph (including the basis for the determination).  Such termination is effective in accordance with subsection (d)(3) of this section, but shall not be effective earlier than 60 days after the date the notice is published or, if later, the expiration of the most recent previous extension under subparagraph (C).

(C) Extension of designation

If the Attorney General does not determine under subparagraph (A) that a foreign state (or part of such foreign state) no longer meets the conditions for designation under paragraph (1), the period of designation of the foreign state is extended for an additional period of 6 months (or, in the discretion of the Attorney General, a period of 12 or 18 months).

(4) Information concerning protected status at time of designations

At the time of a designation of a foreign state under this subsection, the Attorney General shall make available information respecting the temporary protected status made available to aliens who are nationals of such designated foreign state.

(5) Review

(A) Designations

There is no judicial review of any determination of the Attorney General with respect to the designation, or termination or extension of a designation, of a foreign state under this subsection.

(B) Application to individuals

The Attorney General shall establish an administrative procedure for the review of the denial of benefits to aliens under this subsection.  Such procedure shall not prevent an alien from asserting protection under this section in removal proceedings if the alien demonstrates that the alien is a national of a state designated under paragraph (1).

(c) Aliens eligible for temporary protected status

(1) In general

(A) Nationals of designated foreign states

Subject to paragraph (3), an alien, who is a national of a state designated under subsection (b)(1) of this section (or in the case of an alien having no nationality, is a person who last habitually resided in such designated state), meets the requirements of this paragraph only if--

(i)  the alien has been continuously physically present in the United States since the effective date of the most recent designation of that state;

(ii)  the alien has continuously resided in the United States since such date as the Attorney General may designate;

(iii)  the alien is admissible as an immigrant, except as otherwise provided under paragraph (2)(A), and is not ineligible for temporary protected status under paragraph (2)(B);  and

(iv)  to the extent and in a manner which the Attorney General establishes, the alien registers for the temporary protected status under this section during a registration period of not less than 180 days.

(B) Registration fee

The Attorney General may require payment of a reasonable fee as a condition of registering an alien under subparagraph (A)(iv) (including providing an alien with an “employment authorized” endorsement or other appropriate work permit under this section).  The amount of any such fee shall not exceed $50.  In the case of aliens registered pursuant to a designation under this section made after July 17, 1991, the Attorney General may impose a separate, additional fee for providing an alien with documentation of work authorization.  Notwithstanding section 3302 of Title 31 , all fees collected under this subparagraph shall be credited to the appropriation to be used in carrying out this section.

(2) Eligibility standards

(A) Waiver of certain grounds for inadmissibility

In the determination of an alien's admissibility for purposes of subparagraph (A)(iii) of paragraph (1)--

(i)  the provisions of paragraphs (5) and (7)(A) of section 1182(a) of this title shall not apply;

(ii)  except as provided in clause (iii), the Attorney General may waive any other provision of section 1182(a) of this title in the case of individual aliens for humanitarian purposes, to assure family unity, or when it is otherwise in the public interest;  but

(iii)  the Attorney General may not waive--

(I)  paragraphs (2)(A) and (2)(B) (relating to criminals) of such section,

(II)  paragraph (2)(C) of such section (relating to drug offenses), except for so much of such paragraph as relates to a single offense of simple possession of 30 grams or less of marijuana, or

(III)  paragraphs (3)(A), (3)(B), (3)(C), and (3)(E) of such section (relating to national security and participation in the Nazi persecutions or those who have engaged in genocide).

(B) Aliens ineligible

An alien shall not be eligible for temporary protected status under this section if the Attorney General finds that--

(i)  the alien has been convicted of any felony or 2 or more misdemeanors committed in the United States, or

(ii)  the alien is described in section 1158(b)(2)(A) of this title.

(3) Withdrawal of temporary protected status

The Attorney General shall withdraw temporary protected status granted to an alien under this section if--

(A)  the Attorney General finds that the alien was not in fact eligible for such status under this section,

(B)  except as provided in paragraph (4) and permitted in subsection (f)(3) of this section, the alien has not remained continuously physically present in the United States from the date the alien first was granted temporary protected status under this section, or

(C)  the alien fails, without good cause, to register with the Attorney General annually, at the end of each 12-month period after the granting of such status, in a form and manner specified by the Attorney General.

(4) Treatment of brief, casual, and innocent departures and certain other absences

(A)  For purposes of paragraphs (1)(A)(i) and (3)(B), an alien shall not be considered to have failed to maintain continuous physical presence in the United States by virtue of brief, casual, and innocent absences from the United States, without regard to whether such absences were authorized by the Attorney General.

(B)  For purposes of paragraph (1)(A)(ii), an alien shall not be considered to have failed to maintain continuous residence in the United States by reason of a brief, casual, and innocent absence described in subparagraph (A) or due merely to a brief temporary trip abroad required by emergency or extenuating circumstances outside the control of the alien.

(5) Construction

Nothing in this section shall be construed as authorizing an alien to apply for admission to, or to be admitted to, the United States in order to apply for temporary protected status under this section.

(6) Confidentiality of information

The Attorney General shall establish procedures to protect the confidentiality of information provided by aliens under this section.

(d) Documentation

(1) Initial issuance

Upon the granting of temporary protected status to an alien under this section, the Attorney General shall provide for the issuance of such temporary documentation and authorization as may be necessary to carry out the purposes of this section.

(2) Period of validity

Subject to paragraph (3), such documentation shall be valid during the initial period of designation of the foreign state (or part thereof) involved and any extension of such period.  The Attorney General may stagger the periods of validity of the documentation and authorization in order to provide for an orderly renewal of such documentation and authorization and for an orderly transition (under paragraph (3)) upon the termination of a designation of a foreign state (or any part of such foreign state).

(3) Effective date of terminations

If the Attorney General terminates the designation of a foreign state (or part of such foreign state) under subsection (b)(3)(B) of this section, such termination shall only apply to documentation and authorization issued or renewed after the effective date of the publication of notice of the determination under that subsection (or, at the Attorney General's option, after such period after the effective date of the determination as the Attorney General determines to be appropriate in order to provide for an orderly transition).

(4) Detention of alien

An alien provided temporary protected status under this section shall not be detained by the Attorney General on the basis of the alien's immigration status in the United States.

(e) Relation of period of temporary protected status to cancellation of removal

With respect to an alien granted temporary protected status under this section, the period of such status shall not be counted as a period of physical presence in the United States for purposes of section 1229b(a) of this title, unless the Attorney General determines that extreme hardship exists.  Such period shall not cause a break in the continuity of residence of the period before and after such period for purposes of such section.

(f) Benefits and status during period of temporary protected status

During a period in which an alien is granted temporary protected status under this section--

(1)  the alien shall not be considered to be permanently residing in the United States under color of law;

(2)  the alien may be deemed ineligible for public assistance by a State (as defined in section 1101(a)(36) of this title) or any political subdivision thereof which furnishes such assistance;

(3)  the alien may travel abroad with the prior consent of the Attorney General;  and

(4)  for purposes of adjustment of status under section 1255 of this title and change of status under section 1258 of this title, the alien shall be considered as being in, and maintaining, lawful status as a nonimmigrant.

(g) Exclusive remedy

Except as otherwise specifically provided, this section shall constitute the exclusive authority of the Attorney General under law to permit aliens who are or may become otherwise deportable or have been paroled into the United States to remain in the United States temporarily because of their particular nationality or region of foreign state of nationality.

(h) Limitation on consideration in Senate of legislation adjusting status

(1) In general

Except as provided in paragraph (2), it shall not be in order in the Senate to consider any bill, resolution, or amendment that--

(A)  provides for adjustment to lawful temporary or permanent resident alien status for any alien receiving temporary protected status under this section, or

(B)  has the effect of amending this subsection or limiting the application of this subsection.

(2) Supermajority required

Paragraph (1) may be waived or suspended in the Senate only by the affirmative vote of three-fifths of the Members duly chosen and sworn.  An affirmative vote of three-fifths of the Members of the Senate duly chosen and sworn shall be required in the Senate to sustain an appeal of the ruling of the Chair on a point of order raised under paragraph (1).

(3) Rules

Paragraphs (1) and (2) are enacted--

(A)  as an exercise of the rulemaking power of the Senate and as such they are deemed a part of the rules of the Senate, but applicable only with respect to the matters described in paragraph (1) and supersede other rules of the Senate only to the extent that such paragraphs are inconsistent therewith;  and

(B)  with full recognition of the constitutional right of the Senate to change such rules at any time, in the same manner as in the case of any other rule of the Senate.

(i) Annual report and review

(1) Annual report

Not later than March 1 of each year (beginning with 1992), the Attorney General, after consultation with the appropriate agencies of the Government, shall submit a report to the Committees on the Judiciary of the House of Representatives and of the Senate on the operation of this section during the previous year.  Each report shall include--

(A)  a listing of the foreign states or parts thereof designated under this section,

(B)  the number of nationals of each such state who have been granted temporary protected status under this section and their immigration status before being granted such status, and

(C)  an explanation of the reasons why foreign states or parts thereof were designated under subsection (b)(1) of this section and, with respect to foreign states or parts thereof previously designated, why the designation was terminated or extended under subsection (b)(3) of this section.

(2) Committee report

No later than 180 days after the date of receipt of such a report, the Committee on the Judiciary of each House of Congress shall report to its respective House such oversight findings and legislation as it deems appropriate.


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