For years, Congress has discussed the need for comprehensive immigration reform, yet there has been little progress in advancing legislation that would protect the millions of immigrants living in the United States without permanent residence or citizenship. Over the years some actions have been take to alleviated the issue including the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) program, Temporary Protected Status (TPS) for refugees from certain countries, and the lesser known Deferred Enforced Departure (DED) program that specifically protects Liberian, and now Venezuelan, refugees.

Explanation of Programs


The Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals program (DACA) provides temporary legal status for young people who were brought to the U.S. as children. President Trump ended the program in March 2018. On July 16, 2021, a Texas federal court issued a permanent injunction prohibiting the government’s continued administration of DACA. The bottom line is that for now individuals who obtained DACA on or before July 16, 2021 can continue to renew DACA while first-time DACA requests will NOT be processed at this time.

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Temporary Protected Status (TPS) protects refugees of countries experiencing civil unrest or natural disasters. The largest affected groups are Central Americans from countries like Honduras, El Salvador, and Nicaragua. At least 300,000 people currently have TPS status. On August 3, 2021 the Secretary of Homeland Security announced the extension of the registration periods from 180 days to 18 months for new applicants from Venezuela, Syria, and Burma (Myanmar). 

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TPS Info


Deferred Enforced Departure (DED) is in the president’s discretion to authorize. Individuals covered by DED are not subject to removal from the United States. The DED program allows people to work in the U.S. and travel freely. DED was first created in 1999, and many people have used both DED and TPS to remain in the country legally for almost three decades. The Biden administration has extended DED through June 30, 2022 for Liberians and July 20, 2022 for Venezuelans. President Biden has also made Hong Kong residents eligible for DED.

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DED Info