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HIAS Statement on TPS Ruling

SILVER SPRING, Md.--Hundreds of thousands of immigrants who could have faced deportation got a reprieve yesterday. U.S. District Judge Edward Chen granted a preliminary injunction stopping the government from terminating temporary protected status, or TPS, for an estimated 300,000 immigrants from Sudan, El Salvador, Haiti, and Nicaragua. In a 1990 law, Congress gave the Administration the authority to grant TPS to allow immigrants from countries suffering war or natural disasters to remain in the U.S.

“TPS allows people who cannot return safely home to remain legally in the U.S., and helps countries that are struggling to recover from war and disaster from being responsible for the welfare of more people,” said Melanie Nezer, HIAS’ Senior Vice President for Public Affairs. “Judge Chen’s ruling recognized that abruptly terminating the legal status of hundreds of thousands of people who have been here for decades and have no home to return to serves no purpose other than to punish people and create more chaos for countries that are already suffering.”

Judge Chen found that the administration may not have followed federal guidelines and based its decision on “animus against non-white, non-European immigrants." The Department of Homeland Security, which manages TPS, argued that the program has been wrongly extended for years, and that conditions in those four countries are now suitable for thousands of their residents to return.

In his ruling Chen wrote TPS beneficiaries and their children “indisputably will suffer irreparable harm and great hardship” if they are forced to return. He noted many TPS beneficiaries who have U.S.-born children would either tear them away from the only country and community they have known or split their families apart. He added that “local and national economies will be hurt if hundreds of thousands of TPS beneficiaries are uprooted and removed.”

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