CIS — Congress in 1990 created something called Temporary Protected Status in an attempt to hem in unilateral executive actions on immigration. The law created a framework for presidents to let illegal aliens from a country stay here for a limited period of time if there was a natural disaster or civil violence back home that made the country “unable, temporarily, to adequately handle the return of its nationals.” The point was to prevent presidential freelancing, though what had happened up to that time was microscopic compared to Obama’s outrages. (I wrote last month about the likely grant of TPS to Ecuadorian illegals in the wake of the earthquake there.)
Predictably, there’s nothing “temporary” about TPS. No one — not a single person — has ever been made to leave the United States because his TPS ran out. There are now maybe 300,000 or so illegal aliens with this status, which gives them work permits, Social Security numbers, driver’s licenses, and more. Obama’s lawless DACA and DAPA amnesties were modeled on TPS, though they target politically sympathetic categories of people rather than all aliens from a particular country, as TPS does.
The reason this “temporary” status is de facto permanent is that it is renewed every 12 or 18 months, forever. The Liberians who were the first group to benefit from the new formal status are still here a quarter-century later.
Today’s TPS renewal was for 60,000 Hondurans (and 2,000 Nicaraguans) who originally were permitted to stay because of Hurricane Mitch — in 1998. The Federal Register notice explains: