DHS TPS Committee to Visit Guatemala

Presna Libre reported this morning that the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) will send a committee to Guatemala to assess the impact of Tropical Storm Agatha on that country.  This is a key part of the Obama administration’s review of the TPS application, and is a hope-inspiring sign for the thousands of Guatemalans who await a decision.

Temporary Protected Status (TPS) is a rare form of immigration benefit granted on humanitarian grounds, and as such is considered very carefully by the granting presidential administration. It is natural that the administration would want to verify the scope of Agatha’s impact on Guatemala as it reviews the application and assesses the need for immigration benefits.  The very fact that such a committee has been formed is a positive sign, as it indicates that DHS is giving the application serious consideration.

The Prensa Libre article also highlights the fact that reports on Agatha’s impact are due soon from the World Bank, the Inter-American Development Bank (IDB) and the Economic Commission for Latin America and the Caribbean (ECLAC). It is very unlikely that the administration will make any decision about TPS before these reports are published, and the details of those reports are likely to have a significant impact on the outcome of the Guatemalan TPS application.

Finally, the article highlights the impact that your letters to your local congresspeople and senators can have. Illinois Congressman Luis Gutierrez has now come out in support of the TPS application.  With the impending immigration fight looming in Congress, gaining the support of representatives and senators is important, and can best be achieved through small, personal efforts – by directly contacting the politicians who represent you.  Rather than drawing  a crowd through a protest or rally, get your friends and family to write or call their local congressperson or senator and ask them to support TPS on humanitarian grounds.

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23 Responses to “DHS TPS Committee to Visit Guatemala”

  1. Abraham Herrera Says:

    I had been monitoring this website since I found it last week, and I think it is really good that some one put this site together to centralize the information regarding Guatemala’s TPS project; please keep the good work and the information flowing, thank you so much for what you doing!

  2. Patrick Kolasinski Says:

    Hi Abraham,

    Welcome to the site and thank you for the comment. We’re always happy to hear that people find what we’re doing useful. Since you just found the site last week, you may want to check out the older posts that can be found at or main blog – http://blog.kolasinski-law.com.

    Happy Fourth of July!

  3. eleni Says:

    can anyone who is from guatemala and is currently in the US (legally or illegally) apply for TPS (assuming it gets approved)? If so, can you then start a process where you can obtain permanent residency?

  4. Abraham Herrera Says:

    Elani: the answer is no; no you can not apply to TPS yet, (hopelly soon) and no, you can not start the residency process with a TPS; for more details go to USCIS.GOV and research for Temporary Protection Status (TPS); I hope it clear some of your questions.

  5. Patrick Kolasinski Says:

    Hi Eleni,
    As Abraham points out, there is no way to apply for TPS at this moment, but if I understand your question correctly, you want to know what the situation will be if/when TPS is granted. If (and that’s still a big if) the Obama administration decides to grant TPS in this case, any qualified Guatemalan national in the US will be able to apply for TPS benefits, regardless of their immigration status. Qualified Guatemalan citizens who are here in violation of immigration laws will still be able to apply and be granted TPS benefits.

    I use the word “qualified” because there will be some Guatemalan citizens who are not eligible for TPS, not because of their immigration status but because of a criminal record. Also, TPS will only be available to Guatemalan citizens who were here before Agatha hit and who have stayed here continuously since then. People who arrived in the US after Agatha will not be eligible for TPS.

    As for permanent residency (“PR”), TPS does not affect ones eligibility to apply for that status. That is, if you are currently in an immigration status that allows you to apply for PR, you will be able to apply for PR while you have TPS benefits. If, however, you currently are here out of status or are otherwise disqualified from applying for PR, TPS will not help you.

  6. Joe B Says:


    Good information you had posted. I for one assumed that with TPS, since it gained a person legal stay in the US, this is just temporary correct? Eventually it will cease if I’m thinking correctly right? If a person in the US illegally out of status, right now not much can be done for that person to apply for PRS from Ive been told. so even with TPS this doesnt allow any pathway at all for status change? Im sure many would like to know as that would be a common assumption amongst the people that TPS offers a pathway of some sort. Thanks for the information on the previous post. we will keep looking here for further updates as to whether the admin will grant TPS for guatemala. I sure hope so.

  7. Patrick Kolasinski Says:

    Hi Joe,

    Thank you for your question. TPS is not a pathway to legal status, and is, as the name suggests temporary – initially lasting no longer than 18 months (although extensions are possible). A person who was out of status before getting TPS would not be able to use TPS to adjust to a legal status.

    However, it is possible that TPS may make it easier to get a waiver for a spousal application. That is, somebody who is here out of status, gets TPS, and is married to a US citizen or legal permanent resident may find it easier to get a waiver of the requirement to apply for the spousal visa in their home country. This last point is not guaranteed of course, but is something that may be considered at the waiver hearing.

  8. Joe B Says:

    Patrick, thank you so much for the information. We as many have been searching for good answers for once instead of the normal “no” or “dont have a chance” answers we get. I’ll be sure to bring that to attention should the TPS be granted. Return to an impoverished country marred with the last two major disasters, then the ongoing violence and now more noticeabley violence against women.. Iwould hate to have to have anyone go back to the country and try the spousal visa that way as it is hard on all families to have one person be away in a foreign country for an undisclosed amount of time. Thanks for your assistance and explanation and the suggestion. Ive subscribed, so I will continue to monitor this as well. I hope all is well there for you all and have a great day.

    Joe B

  9. jennifer Says:

    Have they approved tps for guatemalans ? && how much will it cost ?

  10. jennifer Says:

    Why don’t yuuh ppl answer my question

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