In the talk about immigration into the United States, the abuses and overuse of legal concepts like ‘Temporary Protected Status’ often escapes discussion. Many people don’t know as much about it as they do about people trying to come to the United States and claim asylum, after all, and for many, the bigger issue is illegals coming across the southern border without any right to do so.
However, in a shocking decision, a federal judge in Boston allowed a lawsuit to continue, which hopes to target Donald Trump’s decision to end TPS status. This Obama-appointed judge ruled that non-citizens can sue the Trump administration for revoking a ‘temporary protected status’ on the basis of unsubstantiated claims of ‘racism.’
It will challenge the decision to end the status for a number of groups, on the basis that the decisions were motivated by ‘racial prejudice.’
U.S. District Judge Denise Casper, who was appointed to the United States District Court for the District of Massachusetts by Barack Obama, rejected the federal government’s bid to dismiss the charges on Monday. In doing so, she paved the way for a number of activist groups, representing individuals from Haiti and El Salvador, to bring forward their claim of racial discrimination in the decision.
According to Judge Casper, comments by officials in the Donald Trump administration, including the President himself, allegedly, make it plausible that there was a “discriminatory purpose” in winding down the protections.
In her ruling on the case, Casper said that the plaintiffs had successfully made out their “prima facie” case.
TPS was meant to be a temporary program that would allow people from certain parts of the world undergoing various hardships to come to the United States for a while. It provides them with work permits, assistance, and most things that a person hoping to live in the United States temporarily could want.
The problem, which President Trump properly identified, is that in recent years, the program has often been used as a de facto immigration program for people from nations that have been on the list for years, or even decades, on end.
In January, the Donald Trump administration decided to rescind the TPS status for El Salvador, which received the designation 17 years ago after a series of earthquakes.
Shortly before then, the government chose to revoke the status for Haiti, which has held the status since the 2010 earthquake that rocked the nation.
This means that, in the near future, all people covered by the status from El Salvador and Haiti will have to leave the United States or risk arrest and deportation.
In response, 14 people who held the temporary protected status from those two nations, plus a few Hondurans who lost their protected status in May 2018, filed suit against the federal government.
They contend that statements like suggesting that all Haitians “have AIDS,” or Trump’s statement that Haiti and Africa were both “s**thole countries” prove racial prejudice in the decision to revoke their protected status.
They sued, saying that they were not receiving their promise of equal protection of the law and due process, both guaranteed by the constitution and bill of rights.
However, El Salvador and Haiti are not the only nations that have seen their statuses rolled back. Honduras, Nepal, Nicaragua, and Sudan have also seen their status revoked since Donald Trump took office.
It seems likely that the claims from the plaintiffs are likely to fall apart in court. However, the most interesting is their complaint he described the countries they came seeking protection from as ‘s**thole’ countries.
If their home countries are so great, then why are they fighting to stay here? Surely, after nearly twenty years, El Salvador is ready for them to go home.
Surely, after almost a decade and billions of dollars in aid form the international community, Haiti is suitable for residence again.
The biggest issue, however, is the use of TPS to as some sort of de facto immigration scheme.
The first word in the status is ‘temporary,’ which means that this is not something that they are supposed to be able to take advantage of for their entire lives.
Past leaders of the nation have allowed far too many people to stay here long enough that when it’s time to go back to their home countries, perhaps to make them a better place with American ideals and beliefs, they instead argue that they should be allowed to stay in the nation that they’ve now made a ‘home.’
Now that President Trump is seeking to right the absurd practice, it seems that many of the people had hoped that their temporary status would transform into more of a permanent solution.