TPS Extended for Somalia:

On July 19th, 2024, the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) announced the extension and redesignation of Somalia for Temporary Protected Status for 18 months, from September 18, 2024, to March 17, 2026. 

Please see the corresponding Federal Register notice for details about how to re-register under the extension or submit an initial application under the redesignation and to apply for an Employment Authorization Document. 


TPS Extended for Yemen: 

On July 8th, 2024, The Department of Homeland Security (DHS) announced the extension and redesignation of Yemen for Temporary Protected Status (TPS) for 18 months, from Sept. 4, 2024, through March 3, 2026.

Please see the corresponding Federal Register notice for details about how to re-register under the extension or submit an initial application under the redesignation and to apply for an Employment Authorization Document. 


Deferred Enforced Departure for Liberia: 

On June 28, 2024, the White House announced the extension of Deferred Enforced Departure through June 30, 2026, for eligible Liberians who have been continually present in the U.S. since May 20, 2017. More information and details are available from US Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) here


TPS Extended for Haiti: 

On June 28, 2024, the Department of Homeland Security announced the extension and redesignation of Haiti for Temporary Protected Status for 18 months, from Aug. 4, 2024, to Feb. 3, 2026. Please refer to the corresponding Federal Register Notice for details about registering as a new or current TPS beneficiary. 


Biden Administration Extends Employment Authorization for Certain TPS Beneficiaries

On June 20, U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) announced the extension of the validity period of employment authorization documents issued to TPS beneficiaries from El Salvador, Honduras, Nepal, Nicaragua, and Sudan through March 9, 2025.

In the announcement, USCIS reminded TPS beneficiaries from these countries that the period to submit their re-registration applications ends on the following dates:

  • El Salvador - March 9, 2025.
  • Honduras - July 5, 2025.
  • Nepal - June 24, 2025.
  • Nicaragua - July 5, 2025.
  • Sudan - April 19, 2025.

Waiver Process for DACA Recipients and Dreamers: 

As a part of the White House's June 18th Actions to Keep Families Together, the administration announced it will take action to facilitate the employment visa process for those who have graduated from college and have a high-skilled job offer, including DACA recipients and other Dreamers. 


Parole in Place Process for Noncitizen Spouses of US Citizens

On June 18, 2024, the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) announced a new process to consider, on a case-by-case basis, requests for parole for certain noncitizen spouses of U.S. citizens, as well as the children of these noncitizen spouses.

If paroled, these individuals will generally be able to apply for lawful permanent residence without having to leave the United States and be processed by a U.S. consulate overseas. 

Noncitizen spouses must have been married to a US Citizen Spouse as of June 17, 2024; and must have been continually present in the US for ten years, in order to be eligible for this process.

Please refer to this page from USCIS for more information and details. 


Presidential Proclamation to Suspend and Limit Entry and Joint DHS-DOJ Interim Final Rule to Restrict Asylum During High Encounters at the Southern Border

On June 4th, 2024, the White House issued a proclamation suspending unauthorized entry of noncitizens across the southern border during times of high border crossing

According to this fact sheet from the Department of Homeland Security, this rule makes three key changes (the following language is pulled directly from the Department of Homeland Security): 

  • First, noncitizens who cross the southern border unlawfully or without authorization will generally be ineligible for asylum, absent exceptionally compelling circumstances and unless they are excepted by the Proclamation.
  • Second, noncitizens who cross the southern border and are processed for expedited removal while the limitation is in effect will only be referred for a credible fear screening with an Asylum Officer if they manifest or express a fear of return to their country or country of removal, a fear of persecution or torture, or an intention to apply for asylum.  
  • Third, the U.S. will continue to adhere to its international obligations and commitments by screening individuals who manifest a fear as noted above and do not qualify for an exception to the Rule for withholding of removal and Convention Against Torture protections at a reasonable probability of persecution or torture standard – a new, substantially higher standard than is currently applied under the Circumvention of Lawful Pathways rule.  

As always, for individual questions and consultations, SMC Immigrant Services recommends reaching out to a legal services provider. 


DACA Recipients Eligible for Affordable Care Act (ACA) Coverage
  • On May 3rd, the White House announced a final rule to expand eligibility for Affordable Care Act (ACA) health coverage to DACA recipients. 
  • This rule will go into effect on November 1st, which corresponds with the 2025 Open Enrollment period. 
  • DACA recipients and other newly eligible individuals will qualify for a special enrollment period to select a health plan through the Marketplace during the 60 days following the rule’s November 1, 2024, effective date. 
  • More information is available from the US Department of Health and Human Services here

Automatic Employment Authorization Document (EAD) Extension
  • USCIS announced a temporary final rule (TFR) to increase the automatic extension period for certain employment authorization documents (EADs) from up to 180 days to up to 540 days.
  • This temporary final rule will apply to two categories of EAD applicants: (1) applicants who timely and properly filed their Form I-765 applications on or after Oct. 27, 2023, if the application is still pending on April 8, 2024; and (2) applicants who timely and properly file their Form I-765 application on or after April 8, 2024 and on or before Sept. 30, 2025
  • For more information on eligibility, as well as for instructions on how to demonstrate proof of extension, please see this page from USCIS. 

Ethiopia TPS Extension 
  • On April 12, 2024, DHS announced the extension and redesignation of Ethiopia for Temporary Protected Status (TPS) for 18 months, from June 13, 2024, to December 12, 2025. See the Federal Register notice for more information.

Burma (Myanmar) TPS Extension
  • On March 22, 2024, DHS announced the extension and redesignation of Burma for Temporary Protected Status for 18 months, from May 26, 2024, to November 25, 2025. See the the Federal Register notice for more information.

     

Re-Parole Process for Certain Ukrainian Citizens and Their Immediate Family Members
  • Effective Feb. 27, 2024, USCIS will accept and consider, on a case-by-case basis, applications for certain Ukrainians and their immediate family members paroled into the United States under section 212(d)(5)(A) of the Immigration and Nationality Act. More information is available from USCIS here


     

Deferred Enforced Departure: 
  • On Feb. 14, 2024, President Biden issued a Memorandum to the Secretary of Homeland Security authorizing Deferred Enforced Departure (DED) and employment authorization for 18 months for eligible Palestinians. More information is available from USCIS here.  
  • On Jan. 26, 2023, President Biden announced the extension of Deferred Enforced Departure (DED) for eligible Hong Kong residents for 24 months through Feb. 5, 2025. Eligible Hong Kong residents include those who arrived in the United States on or before Jan. 26, 2023, as well as those who were covered under the initial period of DED. This extension provides Hong Kong residents who are concerned about returning to Hong Kong with temporary safe haven in the United States.  For more information, see the Federal Register notice.

Syria TPS Extension: 
  • On Jan. 26, 2024, Secretary of Homeland Security Alejandro N. Mayorkas announced the extension and redesignation of Syria for Temporary Protected Status (TPS) for 18 months, through Sept. 30 , 2025. A Federal Register notice also automatically extends through March 31, 2025, certain Employment Authorization Documents (EADs) of existing beneficiaries of Syria TPS.

USCIS Fee Schedule Final Rule: 

On January 30th, 2024, USCIS published a final rule to adjust certain immigration and naturalization benefit request fees for the first time since 2016. The new fee schedule goes into effect April 1, 2024. 

  • Fee waivers will continue to be available for applicants who receive means-tested public benefits, have income at or below 150% of the Federal Poverty Guidelines, or who demonstrate financial hardship.
  • This rule codifies several fee exemptions, and provides additional fee exemptions for certain immigration benefit requests. More details are available from USCIS here

MediCal Expansion:
  • Beginning January 1, 2024, adults ages 26 through 49 can qualify for full-scope Medi-Cal, regardless of immigration status. All other Medi-Cal eligibility rules, including income limits, still apply.
  • More information from the California Department of Health Care Services (DHCS) is available here. · Multilingual outreach materials are available here.

Temporary Protected Status Updates: 

As of 12/13/2023, the Department of Homeland Security extended the re-registration periods for the Temporary Protected Status (TPS) designations of El Salvador, Haiti, Honduras, Nepal, Nicaragua and Sudan.

The re-registration period under the TPS designation of:

  • El Salvador is currently open and runs through March 9, 2025;
  • Haiti is currently open and runs through Aug. 3, 2024;
  • Honduras is currently open and runs  through July 5, 2025;
  • Nepal is currently open and runs through June 24, 2025;
  • Nicaragua is currently open and runs through July 5, 2025; and
  • Sudan is currently open and runs through April 19, 2025.

Cameroon TPS Extension:
  • On Oct. 6, 2023, Secretary of Homeland Security Alejandro N. Mayorkas announced the extension and redesignation of Cameroon for TPS for 18 months, from Dec. 8, 2023, through June 7, 2025. For additional information, please see the TPS Cameroon page and the Federal Register notice.

DACA Update: 

On Sept. 13, 2023, the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of Texas issued a decision finding the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) Final Rule unlawful.

  • Current grants of DACA and related Employment Authorization Documents (EADs) remain valid until they expire, unless individually terminated.
  • USCIS will continue to accept and process DACA renewal requests and accompanying applications for employment authorization.
  • USCIS will continue to accept initial requests, but per the order, not process initial DACA requests.
  • The Immigrant Legal Resource Center has created a Frequently Asked Questions resource accessible here.

Temporary Protected Status Updates:  

Effective June 9, 2023, Department of Homeland Security has extended designations of Temporary Protected Status for nationals of the following countries:  

  • El Salvador for 18 months, from Sept. 10, 2023, through March 9, 2025 (60-day re-registration period from July 12, 2023, through Sept. 10, 2023); 

  • Honduras for 18 months, from Jan. 6, 2024, through July 5, 2025 (60-day re-registration period from Nov. 6, 2023, through Jan. 5, 2024); 

  • Nepal for 18 months, from Dec. 25, 2023, through June 24, 2025 (60-day re-registration period from Oct. 24, 2023, through Dec. 23, 2023); and 

  • Nicaragua for 18 months, from Jan. 6, 2024, through July 5, 2025 (60-day re-registration period from Nov. 6, 2023, through Jan. 5, 2024). 

Existing TPS beneficiaries who wish to extend their status must re-register during the 60-day re-registration period for their country’s designation. Visit USCIS website for more information.  


Re-parole Process for Afghan Nationals:  

On June 8th, Department of Homeland Security (DHS) announced a new process that will enable Afghan nationals to renew their parole and continue to live and work in the United States. The new process is streamlined and will be at no cost, and will provide for a two-year renewal of parole for qualifying individuals.  

Visit DHS website and USCIS Website for more information.  


Title 42 Expired 

On May 11th, 2023, Title 42, the pandemic-era asylum restriction, expired. In place of Title 42, DHS and DOJ have implemented a new rule that “presumes those who do not use lawful pathways to enter the United States are ineligible for asylum and allows the United States to remove individuals who do not establish a reasonable fear of persecution or torture in the country of removal. Noncitizens can rebut this presumption based only on exceptionally compelling circumstances.”  

According to DHS, “The presumption will not apply to a noncitizen if they, or a family member traveling with them, received appropriate authorization to travel to the United States to seek parole; presented at a port of entry, pursuant to a pre-scheduled time and place using the CBP One app; established that it was not possible to access or use the CBP One app due to specific and extenuating circumstances, significant technical failure, or other applicable exception; or sought and were denied asylum or other protection in at least one other country. Individuals may also rebut the presumption by demonstrating exceptionally compelling circumstances. Unaccompanied children are exempted from this presumption.”  

More information is available here about the CBP One app.  


Deferred Action for Witnesses of Labor Violations 

On January 13th, 2023, DHS has announced an updated process by which noncitizens who have experienced or witnessed a labor violation can seek deferred action and protection from immigration-related retaliation. DHS’s press release is available here and instructions for labor agencies are available here.  


DACA Final Rule

Update: On October 5, 2022, the Fifth Circuit Court of Appeals issued a decision in the Texas v United States case. In their decision, the Fifth Circuit agreed with Texas and found that the DACA policy is unlawful but sent the case back to the Southern District of Texas to consider the recently issued final DACA rule. The Fifth Circuit maintained the court order allowing those who are eligible to continue to renew their DACA and apply for advance parole while the case is pending. More changes and updates are expected soon. Learn more at https://www.ilrc.org/daca-updates-faq.

On Sept. 28, 2021, DHS published a notice of proposed rulemaking (NPRM) for DACA. After a careful review of the public comments received, on Aug. 24, 2022, DHS announced a final rule to preserve and fortify DACA that implements the proposed rule with some amendments. The final rule:

  • Maintains the existing threshold criteria for DACA;
  • Retains the existing requirement that DACA requestors file Form I-765, Application for Employment Authorization, and Form I-765WS concurrently with the Form I-821D, Consideration of Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals;
  • Clarifies procedures for termination of DACA and related employment authorization; and
  • Affirms the longstanding policy that DACA recipients have no lawful immigration status, but that, like other deferred action recipients, DACA recipients are considered “lawfully present” when determining eligibility for Social Security retirement benefits as described in 8 C.F.R. 1.3.

It is effective Oct. 31, 2022.


Ukraine Updates and Resources

The County of San Mateo stands in support of refugees and the people of Ukraine. 

Information on the current situation in Ukraine as well as ways to help can be found at USAID.  

  • Uniting for Ukraine provides a pathway for Ukrainian citizens and their immediate family members who are outside the United States to come to the United States and stay temporarily. More information for supporters and beneficiaries, as well as the application form, can be found at USCIS or welcome.us.
  • The State of California welcomes Ukrainian newcomers and stands in solidarity as they arrive and integrate into Californian communities. The information on the California Department of Social Services (CDSS) Refugee Programs Bureau (RPB) Ukrainian Arrivals page is intended to help Ukrainian families and service providers access existing state program resources. CDSS has also published this Guide for Ukrainian Newcomers on benefits, housing and next steps after arrival. 
  • Medical Services are available for newly arrived humanitarian parolees from Ukraine in San Francisco, San Mateo and Marin counties. Contact the Newcomer's Health Program at 628-206-8608 or newcomers.health@sfdph.org. For more information see flyer in English, Ukrainian or Russian
  • The Department of State has suspended operations at U.S. Embassy Kyiv. Individual US Citizens seeking to depart Ukraine and in need of emergency assistance can call these Department of State numbers at 1-833-741-2777 (in U.S.) or 1-606-260-4379 (outside U.S.) or email KyivACS@state.gov. US Citizens and Lawful Permanent Residents can also request crisis assistance via thisintake
  • The Consulate General of Ukraine in San Francisco is located at 530 Bush St # 402, San Francisco, CA 94108. They can be contacted at (415) 398-0240 or at uaconsulatesf@gmail.com for consular, political, and other issues.
  • Humanitarian casework assistance can be requested from Senator Alex Padilla’s office.  
  • For support locating family who have been separated by an international crisis contact San Mateo County Red Crossat (650) 259-1750.
  • For free and low-cost immigration legal help in San Mateo County please visit our list of Immigration and Legal Services.  
  • Those who have been directly affected by the war in Ukraine and are seeking mental health services can visit this page or this page

Title 42

Update: On May 20, 2022, a federal judge blocked the ending of Title 42. 

The CDC had previously scheduled the termination of the Title 42 order on May 23, 2022. 

Title 42 was implemented in March 2020 and allowed federal health officials to ban people or goods from entering the U.S. during a pandemic. Under the Title 42 Order DHS was permitted to expel migrants at the border who lacked proper documentation before they could seek asylum in the U.S. According to the American Immigration Council, “Many individuals have been sent back to persecution in their home countries or forced to wait in Mexico for a time when the border will reopen to those seeking asylum.” You can read Secretary of Homeland Security Alejandro Mayorkas' statement on the CDC’s Title 42 Order Termination here


New Temporary Protected Status (TPS) Designations 

The Department of Homeland Security announced the extension of TPS for Somalia for 18 months, from March 18, 2023, through Sept. 17, 2024. Recently, a new designation of Yemen for TPS for 18 months from March 4, 2023 through Sept. 3, 2024 was also announced. 

Other recent TPS designations and extensions include Ethiopia from Dec. 12, 2022 through June 12, 2024; Haiti from Feb. 4, 2023 through Aug. 3, 2024; Burma (Myanmar) from Nov. 26, 2022 through May 25, 2024; Syria from Oct. 1, 2022 through March 31, 2024 and Venezuela from Sept. 10, 2022, through March 10, 2024. For a full list of countries that are currently designated for TPS, please visit the USCIS website.  

Temporary Protected Status (TPS) allows people from certain countries to stay in the United States if it would be dangerous for them to return to their home country due to an unsafe humanitarian situation. TPS allows recipients to work in the United States lawfully and protects them from deportation while the TPS designation is in effect. 

If you have questions about whether you or someone you know are eligible for TPS, click here for a list of legal organizationsthat provide free and low-cost legal help in San Mateo County. You can also contact our office at ImmigrantServices@smcgov.org or 650-363-4194.

Public Charge Rule (Feb. 17, 2022)

DHS Opens 60 Day Comment Period for Notice of Proposed Rulemaking regarding Public Charge

WASHINGTON— "The Department of Homeland Security (DHS) will issue a Notice of Proposed Rulemaking (NPRM) that would regulate how DHS applies the public charge ground of inadmissibility. The proposed rule would provide fair and humane treatment for noncitizens requesting admission to the United States or applying for lawful permanent residence from within the United States. DHS has posted an advance copy of the proposed rule. The official version will publish in the Federal Register in the coming days. 

“The 2019 public charge rule was not consistent with our nation’s values,” said Secretary Alejandro N. Mayorkas. 'Under this proposed rule, we will return to the historical understanding of the term ‘public charge’ and individuals will not be penalized for choosing to access the health benefits and other supplemental government services available to them.'”

Read more about how to take action on the proposed rule at www.protectingimmigrantfamilies.org. Access the Federal Register to leave comment until April 25, 2022. 

Resources for Arrivals from Afghanistan

Resources for Arrivals from Afghanistan 

Public Charge Rule (March 9, 2021)

DHS SECRETARY STATEMENT ON THE 2019 PUBLIC CHARGE RULE (Release Date: March 9, 2021)

Today (March 9, 2021) DHS Secretary Alejandro N. Mayorkas announced that the government will no longer defend the 2019 public charge rule as doing so is neither in the public interest nor an efficient use of limited government resources.

“The 2019 public charge rule was not in keeping with our nation’s values. It penalized those who access health benefits and other government services available to them,” said Secretary of Homeland Security Alejandro N. Mayorkas. “Consistent with the President’s vision, we will continue to implement reforms that improve our legal immigration system.”

President Biden’s Executive Order on Restoring Faith in Our Legal Immigration Systems and Strengthening Integration and Inclusion Efforts for New Americans called for an immediate review of agency actions on public charge inadmissibility and deportability. DHS’s review, in consultation with the Departments of Justice and State and the federal benefits-granting agencies, is ongoing. 

As discussed in DHS’s litigation statement, and consistent with the government’s decision not to defend the rule, the Department of Justice is no longer pursuing appellate review of judicial decisions invalidating or enjoining enforcement of the 2019 public charge rule. Today, the Department of Justice dismissed its pending appeals in the Supreme Court and Seventh Circuit, and is in the process of doing so in the Fourth Circuit. Following the Seventh Circuit dismissal this afternoon, the final judgment from the Northern District of Illinois, which vacated the 2019 public charge rule, went into effect. As a result, the 1999 interim field guidance on the public charge inadmissibility provision (i.e., the policy that was in place before the 2019 public charge rule) is now in effect.

See more information and resources here