A federal judge in San Francisco placed a temporary injunction against the Trump Administration's actions to end Temporary Protected Status (TPS) for approximately 300,00 illegal aliens. Judge Edward Chen ruled on Wednesday that TPS recipients from El Salvador, Haiti, Nicaragua and Sudan would suffer irreparable harm and hardship if the status is terminated.
The Trump Administration canceled TPS for the four countries affected, but gave TPS recipients from those countries an 18-month window to return home. Haiti was first given TPS status in 2010. El Salvador, Nicaragua, and Sudan have had the TPS designation for nearly 20 years.
The intent of the Temporary Protected Status is to provide temporary relief to foreign nationals in the United States either illegally or on temporary visas who are unable to return to their home countries because of a natural disaster or armed conflict. However, the program has been abused by multiple administrations, allowing illegal aliens to live and work in the United States for long periods of time. The Trump Administration's decision to end TPS for the four countries is part of an effort to return the program to its original intent, which was to provide temporary relief.
Judge Chen ruled that there is no harm to the federal government by halting the Trump Administration's decision to end TPS. A hearing date has been set for later this month to hear arguments from both sides.
A federal district judge's halting of the Trump Administration's lawful effort to review and terminate a temporary program is shocking and will undermine humanitarian relief in the future.
The intent of Temporary Protected Status is to provide temporary relief for foreign nationals who are unable to return to their home country because of natural disaster or public strife. If judges can order temporary relief to be permanent because the beneficiaries have been allowed to remain longer than the initial period, there will be strong incentives to move TPS recipients back to their countries before it is safe so a judge can't say they have sunk roots in the U.S.
And public support for the TPS program is sure to erode even more than now if judges are allowed to throw out the way Congress wrote the law to function.
--- NumbersUSA President Roy Beck
The Justice Department indicated that it would appeal Judge Chen's final decision should he ultimately rule against the administration.
"The Court contends that the duly elected President of the United States cannot be involved in matters deciding the safety and security of our nation's citizens or in the enforcement of our immigration laws," Justice spokesman Devin O'Malley said in a statement Wednesday night. "The Justice Department completely rejects the notion that the White House or the Department of Homeland Security did anything improper."
The Trump Administration has also ended TPS for Nepal and Honduras, but Judge Chen's decision did not affect those countries.
For more on this story, see USAToday.com.
Updated: Thu, Oct 4th 2018 @ 2:37pm EDT