The lawsuit is the first to challenge the administration's decision and is being brought by nine TPS status holders and five of their USA citizen children. MacLean said, "The decisions by this administration to terminate TPS were not based on an analysis of the countries' conditions as required by law or as previous administrations have done but the racial animus".
TPS is an immigration status granted to certain countries experiencing dire conditions such as an armed conflict, epidemic or natural disaster, and protects individuals from deportation and authorizes them to work in America for extended periods.
Arevalo spoke at a rally to announce the lawsuit outside the federal courthouse in San Francisco that was attended by some of the plaintiffs and dozens of demonstrators, some carrying signs that read, "Let Our People Stay". She's been here since 1993. In January, the Department of Homeland Security said it cancelled TPS for them because the risky conditions created by earthquakes in 2001, which killed more than a thousand people, no longer exist. My home and family are here. The defendants in the lawsuit are the United States and the U.S. Department of Homeland Security.
Plaintiffs in the case filed by the American Civil Liberties Union of Southern California say more than 200,000 immigrants could face deportation due to the change in policy.
"These American children should not have to choose between their country and their family", Ahilan Arulanantham, advocacy and legal director of the ACLU of Southern California, said in a statement. It's the latest lawsuit filed against the Trump administration over its crackdown on immigration.
"This is a bad decision", Refugees International president Eric Schwartz told The Guardianreflecting on Trump's decision.
A lawsuit challenging the termination of the program for Haitians was filed in federal court in Boston in January and a second lawsuit on behalf of Haitians and Salvadorans was filed in federal court in Baltimore in February. The programme was created for humanitarian reasons, and the status can be renewed by the United States government following an evaluation.
In 2001, after two destructive earthquakes rattled El Salvador, President Bush granted Salvadorans residing in the US Temporary Protected Status.
Homeland Security Secretary Kirstjen Nielsen concluded that El Salvador had received significant worldwide aid to recover from the quake, and homes, schools and hospitals there had been rebuilt.
The TPS termination "arises from the Trump Administration's repeatedly expressed racism toward non-white, non-European people from other countries", the lawsuit claims.
Lawyers on the case tell TPM that the immigrant parents, many of whom have lived in the USA for decades, are challenging the abrupt cancelation of their status as arbitrary and a violation of their right to due process.