The Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals on Monday allowed the Trump administration to terminate a program that allows at least 300,000 immigrants to live and work in the U.S. with Temporary Protection Status (TPS).
In a 2-1 decision, the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals vacated a preliminary injunction issued in 2018 that prevented the administration from ending temporary protected status (TPS) for immigrants from Haiti, El Salvador, Nicaragua, and Sudan. The panel remanded the case to the district court for further proceedings.
“This government has failed me and the other 250,000 U.S. citizen children of TPS holders,” said Crista Ramos, lead plaintiff in Ramos v. Nielsen. “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. We need our senators to act now and pass the American Dream & Promise Act to grant TPS holders a permanent residency before another wave of family separations occurs. Despite the court’s decision, our fight must continue.”
In 2017 and 2018, the Trump administration announced it was terminating the TPS designation for so-called “Dreamers” from Sudan, Nicaragua, El Salvador, and Haiti. The ruling is also expected to affect over 200,000 U.S.-born children, according to court documents.
“To end protections for over 400,000 TPS families, including the more than 130,000 people who have been risking their lives as essential workers in the midst of the COVID-19 pandemic, would be very cruel; especially during these difficult times,” said Paul Andre Mondesir, lead organizer for the National TPS Alliance.
“This is a difficult decision for our struggle but it is far from finished. Our plaintiffs, our legal team, and the TPS community are preparing to appeal the decision in the entire Ninth Circuit,” said Mondesir. “We will exhaust every legal recourse at our disposal to protect our community and our loved ones. We will take this fight all the way to the U.S. Supreme Court if necessary and continue to demand that Congress act now to pass a permanent residency.”
In a 2019 statement, the Department of Homeland Security said that should it prevail in its challenge to the preliminary injunction, the termination will take effect no earlier than 120 days from an appeals court mandate.
“We vow to continue our struggle for justice and equality. We don’t take this decision as the final verdict,” said Wilna Destin, a plaintiff and TPS holder. “We will continue to fight in the court system, in the streets, in the halls of Congress and in the court of public opinion. Our plaintiffs, our legal team, and the TPS community are preparing to appeal the decision in the entire Ninth Circuit. We will exhaust every legal recourse at our disposal to protect our community and our loved ones.”