Great news for Temporary Protected Status (TPS) holders
November 28, 2018
Thousands of Salvadorans, Sudanese, Haitians and Nicaraguans, whom the Trump administration has been eager to remove from the United States, have been given a reprieve by a federal court. For now.
On October 3, 2018, a federal court blocked the proposed termination by the Trump administration of Temporary Protected Status (TPS) for over 240,000 people from El Salvador, Haiti, Nicaragua and Sudan, who are currently protected from removal in the United States. U.S. District Judge Edward Chen issued a preliminary nationwide injunction preventing the administration from ending TPS for a putative class of beneficiaries and their United States citizen children.
Judge Chen recognized that “[t]he balance of hardships … tips sharply in favor of TPS beneficiaries and their families.” The decision states that many of the people who benefit from TPS have lived in the United States for more than a decade and ending the program would force them to face deportation and the “Hobson’s choice” of taking their children with them and away from the country they call home or, alternatively, separating their families. The judge said that, on the other hand, the administration had failed to show how it would face hardship if TPS recipients were to remain in the United States.
The lawsuit was brought in response to the government’s announcement that TPS protection would be ending for certain countries. As a result of the ruling, the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) 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.
In response to the ruling, DHS announced on October 31, 2018 that it would preserve TPS designations for those four countries. Further, DHS announced that it would provide automatic extensions to existing work authorization documents. TPS designations for Nicaragua and Sudan are now automatically extended through April 2, 2019. The TPS expiration dates for El Salvador and Haiti will remain unchanged. TPS for El Salvador expires on September 9, 2019. Haiti’s TPS designation ends on July 22, 2019.
The case is Ramos et al. v. Nielsen et al., case number3:18-cv-01554, in the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of California. DHS is appealing the injunction order to a higher court. We will keep you posted on any further developments.