Federal judge temporarily blocks Trump administration from ending TPS

Hundreds of thousands of immigrants who feared they could soon be facing deportation got a reprieve Wednesda...

Posted: Oct 4, 2018 11:27 AM
Updated: Oct 4, 2018 11:27 AM

Hundreds of thousands of immigrants who feared they could soon be facing deportation got a reprieve Wednesday, when a federal judge in California temporarily blocked one of the Trump administration's major immigration moves.

US District Judge Edward Chen granted a preliminary injunction stopping the government from terminating temporary protected status, or TPS, for immigrants from Sudan, El Salvador, Haiti and Nicaragua.

Government and public administration

Government bodies and offices

Immigration

Immigration, citizenship and displacement

International relations and national security

US federal government

White House

Africa

Continents and regions

Law and legal system

Lawsuits and claims

Middle East and North Africa

Northern Africa

Sudan

Trial and procedure

Chen ruled that the government must maintain TPS, and employment authorizations for TPS beneficiaries from those countries, while a lawsuit challenging the government's decision to eliminate their protections continues.

TPS protects migrants in the United States from countries that have been hit by dire conditions, such as epidemics, war or natural disaster. Previous administrations had opted to extend the protections for most of the countries involved every few years when they came up for review, but the Trump administration has moved toward ending protections for the majority of immigrants under the program, arguing that the initial conditions that necessitated them are no longer present.

The judge's decision comes a week after a hearing in the case. It goes into effect immediately and is particularly welcome news for TPS recipients from Sudan, who were less than a month away from losing their protections.

"I'm still trying to wrap my mind around it," said Salma Ahmed of Chicago.

The 21-year-old, who was born in Sudan and has lived in the United States since she was 2, attended last week's court hearing in San Francisco and was heartened to hear the judge recognize the urgency of the situation she and many others face.

"My hopes just got higher and higher," she told CNN Wednesday night. "I wasn't expecting it right now, but this is good."

Judge: Decisions may have been based on 'animus against non-white, non-European immigrants'

Immigrants and their family members filed this class-action lawsuit in March over the ending of TPS for Sudan, El Salvador, Haiti and Nicaragua, alleging that the government terminated protections as a result of a predetermined agenda that violated the law. The judge has previously allowed the lawsuit to proceed and forced the production of internal documents, including email exchanges between officials pushing for the terminations.

In his ruling Wednesday, Chen said there is evidence that the administration may have violated the Constitution when it made decisions to end TPS.

"There is also evidence that this may have been done in order to implement and justify a pre-ordained result desired by the White House. Plaintiffs have also raised serious questions whether the actions taken by the Acting Secretary or Secretary was influenced by the White House and based on animus against non-white, non-European immigrants in violation of Equal Protection guaranteed by the Constitution," Chen wrote. "The issues are at least serious enough to preserve the status quo."

"The Court's decision usurps the role of the executive branch in our constitutional order," Department of Justice spokesman Devin O'Malley said in a statement Wednesday night.

"The Court contends that the duly elected President of the United States cannot be involved in matters deciding the safety and security of our nation's citizens or in the enforcement of our immigration laws," the statement said. "The Justice Department completely rejects the notion that the White House or the Department of Homeland Security did anything improper. We will continue to fight for the integrity of our immigration laws and our national security."

The Department of Homeland Security said it could not comment on pending litigation.

An attorney for plaintiffs in the case praised the judge's decision.

"Judge Chen's ruling vindicates the brave struggle of TPS holders to defend the Constitution in the face of the Trump administration's discriminatory attack on this humanitarian program on which so many hundreds of thousands of people rely," Emi MacLean of the National Day Laborer Organizing Network said.

The lead plaintiff in the case is Crista Ramos, a 14-year-old US citizen whose mother is a TPS holder from El Salvador.

"I was so happy when I found out about the judge's decision. Ever since the TPS terminations were announced, I have been wondering how I can live a normal life if I am about to lose my mom," Ramos said in a statement Wednesday night. "Today, my family and I are celebrating. Tomorrow, we will continue our fight for permanent status for TPS holders."

Mississippi Coronavirus Cases

Data is updated nightly.

Confirmed Cases: 13731

Reported Deaths: 652
CountyConfirmedDeaths
Hinds89824
Lauderdale68056
Madison65321
Scott59210
Neshoba51431
Jones49215
Forrest48635
DeSoto4746
Leake38810
Holmes36923
Rankin3566
Jackson29613
Copiah2844
Attala27314
Monroe24624
Lincoln24520
Leflore24126
Harrison2376
Newton2273
Lamar2205
Yazoo2192
Pearl River20527
Pike20011
Adams18815
Noxubee1656
Lowndes1647
Warren1547
Washington1535
Jasper1453
Bolivar14111
Oktibbeha13910
Covington1311
Clarke13116
Smith13110
Kemper12710
Chickasaw12712
Wayne1250
Lafayette1243
Carroll11310
Marion1108
Lee1085
Coahoma1063
Clay993
Winston981
Lawrence941
Hancock8811
Itawamba857
Simpson850
Wilkinson849
Yalobusha845
Montgomery801
Sunflower793
Grenada752
Union725
Marshall713
Jefferson Davis712
Tippah7011
Panola622
Calhoun604
Tate591
Claiborne582
Humphreys537
Amite521
Walthall490
Perry492
Tunica483
Jefferson400
Prentiss393
Choctaw322
Stone300
Webster281
Pontotoc263
Franklin252
Tishomingo250
Quitman240
Tallahatchie241
George201
Benton150
Alcorn141
Greene71
Sharkey70
Unassigned00

Alabama Coronavirus Cases

Confirmed Cases: 15650

Reported Deaths: 580
CountyConfirmedDeaths
Mobile2033111
Jefferson163091
Montgomery127433
Marshall6509
Tuscaloosa55812
Lee51032
Franklin4676
Shelby44719
Tallapoosa40063
Butler35912
Chambers33724
Madison3024
Baldwin2749
Elmore2707
Walker2391
Etowah23811
DeKalb2263
Dallas2063
Coffee2061
Lowndes19310
Sumter1936
Morgan1761
Houston1724
Autauga1683
Calhoun1463
Pike1450
Choctaw1444
Colbert1422
Marengo1416
Russell1370
Lauderdale1352
Bullock1333
Hale1324
Randolph1247
Wilcox1187
Marion11410
Barbour1131
Clarke1092
St. Clair1041
Pickens934
Greene914
Talladega912
Chilton871
Dale850
Cullman780
Limestone770
Jackson712
Winston670
Covington671
Washington655
Henry642
Macon622
Crenshaw602
Bibb591
Blount491
Lawrence430
Escambia433
Perry350
Geneva350
Coosa341
Monroe332
Cherokee332
Conecuh281
Clay272
Lamar200
Cleburne131
Fayette110
Unassigned00
Tupelo
Overcast
72° wxIcon
Hi: 73° Lo: 68°
Feels Like: 72°
Columbus
Overcast
71° wxIcon
Hi: 73° Lo: 68°
Feels Like: 71°
Oxford
Broken Clouds
70° wxIcon
Hi: 77° Lo: 65°
Feels Like: 70°
Starkville
Overcast
68° wxIcon
Hi: 71° Lo: 64°
Feels Like: 68°
WTVA Radar
WTVA Temperatures
WTVA Severe Weather