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Is Immigration Reform Dwindling Away in 2022?

As we begin the second session of the 117th Congress in anticipation of the midterm elections, the chances of passing immigration reform legislation continue to dwindle leaving members of Congress eyeing another strategy including regulatory and executive actions.   To that end, many members of Congress are calling upon President Biden to use executive action to deliver immigration relief through temporary protected status, a designation that provides legal protections to immigrants fleeing countries in crisis. This action could provide stability, for the interim, to hundreds of thousands of immigrants; immigrants who hold temporary protected status are protected from deportation. They are eligible to apply for work authorization, and can travel outside the U.S., but do not have a guaranteed path to permanent residency or citizenship.  Congress created the temporary protected status designation as part of the Immigration Act of 1990. TPS grants individuals from countries struck by natural disaster, armed conflict or other “extraordinary and temporary conditions” the ability to stay in the U.S. without fearing deportation.  Currently, around 400,000 people from 12 countries benefit from the designation, which allows recipients to live in the U.S. for up to 18 months and can be renewed indefinitely.