Feds Comply with Order to Stop Deporting TPS Holders

Holders of Temporary Protected Status have been traveling the U.S. on the Journey for Justice bus tour, to raise awareness about their predicament. Photo Credit: Sarah Hall

Suzanne Potter,
Public News Service

LOS ANGELES – A small but important victory this week for people with Temporary Protected Status (TPS) who are fighting to stay in this country, after the federal government announced it will comply with a court order halting deportations until the lawsuit is done.

The Trump administration terminated the TPS program earlier this year, a move that threatened to force more than 300,000 people to return to their home countries.

Many TPS holders were granted the legal right to live and work in the United States decades ago and now, as a group, they have homes and hundreds of thousands of American-born children.

As an organizer with the National TPS Alliance and a TPS holder from El Salvador, Sandra Granados spent six weeks on a bus tour known as the Journey for Justice to raise awareness of what she called a cruel program.

“We are fighting to stay with our families,” Granados said. “This is a humanitarian crisis already. We are here to make this country better.”

Homeland Security Secretary Kirstjen Nielsen has said TPS was meant to be temporary as its name suggests, so the government has the legal right to end it. The feds now have pledged not to try to deport TPS holders while the lawsuit proceeds, plus six months, should the deportation order be ruled constitutional.

Emi MacLean, an attorney with the National Day Laborer Organizing Network and the ACLU of Southern California, represents the TPS holders who are the plaintiffs in the case. She warned that the government has appealed, and that it remains determined to end the TPS program.

“There is no humanitarian impulse; the administration has not come to terms with the tremendous harm of their racism, recklessness and illegality,” MacLean insisted. “This administration was ordered to temporarily halt the terminations and this is temporary relief only.”

The case in question only covers TPS holders from El Salvador, Haiti, Nicaragua and Sudan – however, the program covers people from ten different countries.

Supporters are pushing Congress to pass a bill that gives permanent residency to all holders of Temporary Protected Status.