Court ruling: Trump is allowed to end Temporary Protected Status for nearly 300,000 immigrants
By: Rebecca Anderson
Immigrants hailing from Sudan, Nicaragua, Haiti and El Salvador could potentially be relieved of U.S. humanitarian protections after a split federal appeals court panel claimed that the Trump administration could terminate them.
According to CNN, the decision—made in a 2-1 ruling on Monday—affects thousands of immigrants who currently live in the U.S. and could eventually be deported in the near future.
“This government has failed me and the other 250,000 US citizen children of TPS holders,” said Crista Ramos, lead plaintiff in the case. “If this decision stands, it means Trump’s termination of TPS will move ahead and TPS holders will only have until January 2021 to legally live and work in this country.
The decision is expected to face further legal challenges in the lower courts.
“This is devastating news not just for families who are losing their protected status, but also for their communities,” said Ali Noorani, who leads the National Immigration Forum advocacy group.
Noorani further elaborated in a statement to ABC News, “TPS recipients have deep economic and social roots in communities across the nation. And, as the U.S. responds to the COVID-19 pandemic, TPS recipients are standing shoulder to shoulder with Americans and doing essential work.”
TPS protections are important for immigrants who have been displaced, giving them the right to stay in the U.S. temporarily without a path to citizenship after a catastrophic event, such as the 2010 Haiti earthquake or a series of earthquakes in El Salvador in 2001.
What EXACTLY is Temporary Protected Status?
According to the American Immigration Council, Temporary Protected Status (TPS) is a temporary immigration status provided to nationals of certain countries experiencing problems that make it difficult or unsafe for their nationals to be deported there. Congress created TPS in the Immigration Act of 1990, essentially to serve as a lifeline to hundreds of thousands of individuals already in the United States when problems in a home country make their departure or deportation untenable.
Countries currently designated for TPS:
What are some reasons a country can be selected for TPS?
- Ongoing armed conflict (such as civil war)
- An environmental disaster (such as earthquake or hurricane), or an epidemic
- Other extraordinary and temporary conditions
This decision came on the heels of an agreement with El Salvador that would allow the U.S. to send some asylum seekers to that country to seek humanitarian protections there. As a result, El Salvadorans with protected status only have an additional year after the conclusion of the TPS-related lawsuits to travel back to their home country.