The United States Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit has upheld a Trump administration’s move to end temporary protected status (TPS) for nearly 400,000 immigrants currently living and working in the United States.
The court’s ruling presents challenging implications for immigrants from particular homelands who have fled to the U.S. in recent years, including Haiti, El Salvador, Sudan, and Nicaragua. U.S Circuit Judges Consuelo M. Callahan and Ryan D. Nelson ruled in favor of the federal government’s injunction to terminate TPS designations while Circut Judge Morgen Christen dissented, resulting in a 2-1 split.
A victory for Americans
“Today’s ruling by the activist Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals upholding the Trump administration’s decision to end Temporary Protected Status (TPS) for individuals from four nations represents a victory for the American people and an unmistakable rebuke to activist judges who seek to make immigration policy from the bench,” said Dan Stein, president of the Federation for American Immigration Reform (FAIR).
The plaintiffs argued that the Trump administration displayed racial animosity towards non-white and non-European peoples with its termination of TPS designations, which were put into effect as early as 2017-2018.
While the district court agreed that “President Trump expressed racial animus against “nonwhite, non-European” immigrants, and that the White House influenced the TPS termination decisions,” it was unable to cite direct “evidence linking the President’s animus to the TPS terminations.
This does not mean that starting Sep. 14, all 400,000 immigrants will be immediately swept up and deported, however. The Trump administration will be maintaining protections until March 5, 2021. An additional extension will be granted to people from El Salvador to November 2021.
ACLU to “seek further review” of the court of appeal’s ruling
The case is not over, however, as the plaintiffs can request to take it before an 11-judge panel to debate the case. There even is the possibility of the Supreme Court.
Ahilan Arulanantham, senior counsel of the American Civil Liberties Union Foundation of Southern California, said, “The President’s vile statements about TPS holders made perfectly clear that his administration acted out of racial animus. The Constitution does not permit policy to be driven by racism. We will seek further review of the court’s decision.”
As of today, the Trump administration’s termination of the TPS designation for the group stands, regardless of pushback from other departments of the federal government.
Chamber of Commerce warns that terminating TPS will create a workforce crisis
The Chamber of Commerce has warned that terminating TPS would take away significant chunks of the workforce across multiple industries, effectively creating a crisis. About one-fifth of the construction workforce in Washington D.C. is Salvadorans under temporary protected status.
What effect Trump’s action has on the nation’s workforce remains to be seen, it is still quite possible the administration’s policy will be stopped dead in its tracks by higher courts.
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