TPS Holders Ask Court to Halt Trump Plan to Kill Program

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SAN FRANCISCO — On Tuesday, September 25, nine temporary protected status (TPS) holders and five U.S. citizen children of TPS holders will make the case in federal court for a temporary injunction of the Trump administration’s termination of the program for people from four countries - Sudan, Nicaragua, Haiti, and El Salvador. The lives of hundreds of thousands of people who have lived here lawfully for years, and in many cases with their U.S. citizen family members, hang in the balance. The Trump Administration has terminated TPS for 98 percent of those with TPS status. 

Plaintiffs assert the Trump administration terminated TPS because of its racist animus against non-white, non-European immigrants. Plaintiffs also assert that the administration violated the Administrative Procedure Act by failing to acknowledge and explain its sudden change to the rules governing TPS. At the hearing, the court will consider whether to halt the terminations pending a final decision after trial in the case.

In support of their claims, Plaintiffs have submitted stunning internal government communications showing that Trump administration officials made the decision to end TPS to further the President’s “America First” agenda. They overruled the objections of neutral career staff and ignored clear evidence of ongoing dangers in TPS holders’ countries of origin.

“After more than twenty years in the United States, my entire life was upended the day the government abruptly announced the end of TPS for Sudan,” said Hiwaida Elarabi, a 55-year-old TPS holder from Sudan and plaintiff in the case, “Today, I stand with hundreds of thousands of TPS holders who together seek to stop catastrophic—and illegal—terminations of humanitarian protection.”


TPS is a humanitarian program that provides legal status and work authorization for more than 400,000 people living in the U.S. However, after Trump took office, his administration announced the termination of TPS for 98 percent of those who have it. Several hundred thousand people, including many who have held TPS status for years or decades, will lose their status starting as soon as November 2, 2018, absent court intervention.

The lawsuit challenges this administration’s actions and aims to keep tens of thousands of U.S. citizen children from being separated from their families.

Over the summer, Judge Chen ruled against the Government’s motion to dismiss the case stating that “Plaintiffs have plausibly pled that President Trump made statements which a reasonable observer could construe as evidence of racial bias animus against non-white immigrants, and that he thereafter influenced and tainted DHS’s decision-making process with regard to TPS.” On August 24, the plaintiffs filed a request for a preliminary injunction to halt the terminations. The plaintiffs are members of diverse organizations fighting to defend TPS, including the National TPS Alliance, CARECEN-Los Angeles, Working Families United, and African Communities Together.

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