Saturday, July 20, 2024

Lawsuit over the end of TPS is allowed to proceed

Yesterday a federal judge in Boston rejected a bid by the Trump administration to dismiss a lawsuit alleging that its decisions to end temporary protections for immigrants in the United States from Honduras, Haiti and El Salvador were racially motivated.

U.S. District Judge Denise Casper in Boston ruled that a group of immigrants and two organizations could move forward with a lawsuit challenging the administration’s termination of the TPS status enjoyed by thousands of people from those countries.

She said the lawsuit’s allegations about “statements of animus” by officials including President Donald Trump coupled with claims about a shift in policy “allege plausibly that a discriminatory purpose was a motivating factor in a decision.” The lawsuit cited statements it said showed Trump’s “dislike and disregard for Latino and black immigrants,” including reported remarks in January by Trump saying immigrants from Africa and Haiti come from “shithole countries.”

The U.S. Justice Department, which represented the administration in court, had argued that the courts lack jurisdiction to review the decisions at issue. In May, the Department of Homeland Security said it would end temporary protections for Hondurans in January 2020. Haitians and Salvadorans are set to lose their special statuses in July 2019 and September 2019, respectively.

The lawsuit was filed by 14 immigrants from those three countries and two non-profit organizations, Haitian-Americans United and Centro Presente. The complaint contends the administration’s actions violate the U.S. Constitution’s equal protection and due process provision.