Federal Judge Blocks Trump’s Plans to End TPS for Four Countries

By Rosa García 

Citing racial animus and deeply flawed decision-making by Trump Administration officials, U.S. District Judge Edward M. Chen granted a preliminary injunction to block the Department of Homeland Security’s plans to terminate Temporary Protected Status (TPS) for over 300,000 long-term residents.

This October 3 federal court ruling on Ramos v. Nielsen is a victory for TPS recipients who fled El Salvador, Haiti, Nicaragua, and Sudan due to environmental disasters, ongoing armed conflict, or extraordinary and temporary conditions that prevented them from returning to their country of national origin safely.

In his opinion, Judge Chen underscored that returning to their home countries could cause “irreparable harm and great hardship” for TPS beneficiaries and their families. Importantly, Judge Chen indicated that plaintiffs had raised serious questions about whether the action taken by Homeland Security officials “was influenced by the White House and based on animus against nonwhite, non-European immigrants in violation of the Equal Protection Clause guaranteed by the Constitution.”

Many TPS recipients have lived in the United States for over a decade and have families, homes, businesses, and deep ties to their communities. They are parents of U.S.-citizen children and live in mixed-status families. They are our co-workers, neighbors, students, and friends. Like millions of immigrants who came before them, they contribute to the nation’s economy and their communities in critical ways.

This ruling brings temporary relief for TPS holders whose protections are due to expire soon:

Sudan: November 2, 2018

Nicaragua: January 5, 2019

Haiti: July 22, 2019

El Salvador: September 9, 2019

The best solution for these immigrant families who call the United States home is for Congress to adopt legislation allowing all TPS recipients to become legal permanent residents without having to leave the country and endure further hardship.

As advocates for low-income people and immigrants, the Center for Law and Social Policy (CLASP) calls on the Trump Administration to halt its anti-immigrant, nativist policy agenda—one that only divides the country and discriminates against those who are most vulnerable. Instead, the United States should aspire to lead the world in its humane treatment of immigrant families, regardless of their immigration status or place of birth.

CLASP supports the invaluable advocacy of the national TPS Alliance, CARECEN, UndocuBlack Network, and other immigrant rights organizations on the front lines of the TPS issue. We will also continue to work with our state and federal partners to amplify the voices of TPS recipients.