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October 5, 2018
LAWG Applauds Court’s Preliminary Injunction for TPS Beneficiaries, Urges Congress to Act Now for Permanent Protection
Washington D.C.–The Latin America Working Group (LAWG) recognizes the preliminary injunction by U.S. District Judge Edward M. Chen as an important victory in contesting the administration’s plans to terminate Temporary Protected Status (TPS) for over 300,000 beneficiaries from Haiti, Sudan, Nicaragua, and El Salvador. The judge ruled that the administration’s termination of TPS was unconstitutional, as there is evidence that the decision was not made on the merits but on a pre-ordained result desired by the White House. This injunction halts the impending deportation of individuals from these countries and ensures that TPS beneficiaries will be able to maintain their employment and protection status through the duration of their litigation, which is yet to be determined. Protections for the individuals from all of these countries had been set to terminate in 2019, as early as January 2019 for Nicaragua. About 57,000 Honduran TPS beneficiaries are not covered by this injunction and have a termination date of January 2020.
“When the administration ended protections for TPS beneficiaries, it upended their lives and made them choose between a rock and a hard place—living in the shadows or being forced to return to danger in their home countries. We applaud Judge Chen’s decision to stand up to one of the many attacks that this administration has taken against refugees, migrants, asylum-seekers, and communities like TPS beneficiaries. This is a life-saving measure for these families and an important victory, but it’s still only temporary. Congress must act now to give TPS beneficiaries the permanent status they deserve,” states Daniella Burgi-Palomino, Senior Associate for Mexico, Migrant Rights, and Border Issues.
The injunction comes following other information regarding the administration’s flawed decision to terminate TPS, such as that the State Department ignored information sent by the U.S. Embassy in El Salvador and Honduras regarding country conditions and the potential negative impact of terminating TPS for the stability in these countries. There is currently an open request for the Government Accountability Office to carry out an investigation into the State Department’s decision-making process.
LAWG urges Congress to act immediately to make permanent protections for all TPS beneficiaries into law, including the individuals from the countries now covered by this preliminary injunction as well as Honduran TPS recipients. As our analysis has shown, the conditions of human rights violations, corruption, and impunity in Honduras, El Salvador, and Nicaragua would expose TPS beneficiaries and their families to grave danger should they be forced to return and have negative impacts on the economy and insecurity in those countries.