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Ruling temporarily stops the deportation of TPS immigrants

Many immigrants in southern California are in the United States because they enjoy protection under the Temporary Protected Status program (TPS). In its never-ending campaign to remove such protections, the Trump Administration recently announced a plan to terminate the TPS program for immigrants from Sudan, El Salvador, Haiti and Nicaragua. The announcement immediately threatened immigrants from these countries will imminent deportation. However, a federal judge in Los Angeles issued an injunction that requires the government to maintain the program and the protected status of its beneficiaries while a class action that challenges the validity of the termination proposal comes to trial.

The TPS program is intended to provide favored immigration status for immigrants from countries that are suffering from dire conditions, such as epidemics, war or natural disaster. Prior administrations were willing to continue the program, but the Trump administration is intent upon ending the protections, saying they are no longer necessary.

In his injunction decision, U.S. District Judge Edward Chen said that he found evidence in the record that the government's decision to end the TPS program may have violated the Constitution. The judge said that he also found evidence that ending the TPS program was part of a pre-ordained result desired by the White House. The judge also said that the termination of the program was based upon "animus against non-white, non-European immigrants" in violation of the Equal Protection Clause.

Unless the judge's order is reversed by the 9th Circuit Court of Appeals, the order will remain in place for the duration of the class action. Anyone with questions about their status as a TPS holder may wish to consult a professional for advice about the injunction and about the potential outcome of the class action lawsuit.

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