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Judge Blocks Trump From Deporting Immigrants Under TPS

By William Vogeler, Esq. | Last updated on

A federal judge stopped the Trump administration from taking away the temporary protected status of hundreds of thousands of immigrants, saying they would suffer "irreparable harm" if sent back to their home countries.

The administration terminated the protected status of about 300,000 immigrants from El Salvador, Nicaragua, Haiti, and Sudan in November 2017. The immigrants left their countries because of life-threatening conditions, such as civil war.

Representatives sued and asked for an injunction to stop the government action. Judge Edward Chen granted their request pending a trial to decide whether the administration unlawfully discriminated against them.

"All Have AIDS"

Chen questioned the administration's abrupt change in policy towards immigrants. He said there is enough evidence that the government withdrew their protection due to racism.

He cited Trump statements about "shithole countries," referring to El Salvador, Haiti, and African countries. The president also said that 15,000 recent immigrants from Haiti "all have AIDS."

"The bottom line is there is nothing in the record establishing the continued presence of TPS beneficiaries in the United States causes harm to the country," Chen wrote.

The plaintiffs, including immigrants and their U.S.-born children, say that many have lived in the United States for years. Under the past three presidents, their temporary protected status had been extended.

"Substantial Irreparable Injury"

If the immigrants were forced out of the country, Chen said, they would suffer "substantial irreparable injury." He said they face violence from the state, police or terrorists in their home countries.

Chen also said he ruled to preserve the status quo. He cited a brief by 17 states that said they would lose $132 billion in gross domestic product and $5.2 billion in Social Security and Medicare contributions if the immigrants were sent home.

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