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The Trump Administration Has Been Blocked From Removing Thousands Of Central American Immigrants

A federal judge on Wednesday ordered the Trump administration to temporarily halt its plan to end the Temporary Protected Status (TPS) program. The program allows thousands of immigrants to legally live and work in the U.S. for decades. The ruling, issued by U.S. District Judge Edward M. Chen, affects more than 300,000 immigrants enrolled in TPS from El Salvador, Nicaragua, Haiti and Sudan.  Judge Chen said the government failed to show harm of continuing TPS and the plaintiffs showed that removing those immigrants could hurt the local and national economy.

The ruling protecting TPS comes in response to a lawsuit by the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU).

The ACLU lawsuit says that the effort to end TPS “was motivated by intentional race and national-origin-based animus against individuals from what President Trump has referred to as “shithole countries.” Judge Chen’s decision comes only a week after a hearing in the case. It will go into effect immediately and is positive news for TPS recipients, who were less than a month away from losing their protections. U.S. Judge Chen cited a brief filed by 17 states that they would lose billions on dollars in turnover costs if TPS recipients are sent home.

This is the latest defeat for the Trump administration as they try to overhaul the U.S. immigration system.

The ruling is the latest blow to the Trump administration’s efforts to change the nation’s immigration laws, following court orders limiting his travel ban targeting Muslim countries, his attempt to end the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals program, and his policy of separating migrant families along the U.S. border.

“This shows that Trump’s move to terminate TPS was based on his racial motivations and not in any law or consideration of safety,” Working Families United, which supports temporary protected status, said in a statement to NBC News. “With the suit still in court, Congress must act to create a pathway to legal residency and make the protections permanent.”

For thousands of immigrants under TPS, the ruling brings pause of fear after months of uncertainty.

For the lead plaintiff in the case, 14-year-old Christa Ramos (whose parents are from El Salvador), it means that she and her family can begin to live their lives again without fears of deportation.

“Ever since the TPS terminations were announced, I have been wondering how I can live a normal life if I am about to lose my mom,” Ramos said in a statement. “Today, my family and I are celebrating.”

The legal battle for TPS recipients is far from over as this is only a temporary fix.

There are still more legal battles for TPS recipients in the coming weeks as the case may make its way to the higher courts. It doesn’t force the administration to formally renew TPS, much less grant any more permanent legal status.


READ: Federal Judge Lets DACA Program Live Citing Harm If Program Is Canceled

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