Immigrants sue US over end of protected status

A group of immigrants filed a lawsuit Sunday alleging that the Trump administration unfairly ended the program that gave them temporary protected status, the Associated Press reports.

The lawsuit filed by Honduran and Nepali immigrants in a federal court in San Francisco contends that the Department of Homeland Security's (DHS) decision to end the program for their countries is motivated by racism.

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The suit on behalf of the six immigrants and two of their American-born children also alleges that DHS changed how it evaluated the conditions in their home countries when determining if they could return.

“We bring evidence the Trump administration has repeatedly denigrated non-white non-European immigrants and reviewed TPS [temporary protected status] designations with a goal of removing such non-white non-European immigrants from the United States,” said Minju Cho, a staff attorney at Asian Americans Advancing Justice in Los Angeles, according to the AP.

Cho's group is one of several organizations representing the plaintiffs in this case.

TPS is a temporary status given to people from certain countries that allows them to stay in the United States legally. It is traditionally given to people fleeing from wars or natural disasters.

The administration has argued that TPS was always meant to be temporary, and has tried to roll the program back for immigrants from several countries.

Last year, a federal judge in San Francisco temporarily blocked the administration from halting the program for immigrants from El Salvador, Haiti, Nicaragua and Sudan after a similar lawsuit.

The administration announced the program would be ending for Honduras and Nepal last year.

Honduras has had the status since a 1998 hurricane. Roughly 86,000 immigrants from the country have TPS, according to AP.

Nepali immigrants were granted TPS after a 2015 earthquake. About 15,000 Nepali immigrants are covered by that designation, the suit says.

The DHS did not immediately respond to a request for comment from The Hill on the lawsuit.