With the fate of their Temporary Protected Status (TPS) in jeopardy, immigrants from Honduras and Nepal brought a class action lawsuit against the federal government this week to stop the Trump administration from ending TPS for their respective countries.
The case’s plaintiffs—six adults with TPS and two of their U.S.-born children—maintain that the termination is arbitrary and racially motivated, meant to remove “non-white, non-European immigrants” from the United States.
TPS was created by Congress in 1990 as a mechanism to permit certain foreign nationals to remain in the United States if returning to their country would expose them to harm due to unsafe conditions such as war, famine, or natural disaster. They have lived in the United States for many years, bought homes, created community ties, and contribute billions to the economy.
As a result of the termination of TPS for Honduras and Nepal, nearly 100,000 people would lose their legal status in the United States, also affecting tens of thousands of U.S. citizen children. Many would be forced to choose between their home and a country they have never seen.
Through a separate lawsuit filed in 2018, the administration was outed for misconstruing country conditions in order to justify ending TPS for other countries. A federal court ruled that the administration had in fact violated the law when it ordered TPS terminations for El Salvador, Haiti, Nicaragua, and Sudan. The decision argued that the administration had racist motivations for ending TPS for those countries.
The plaintiffs in the newly filed litigation argue that the termination for Nepal and Honduras should be stopped for the same reasons. This most recent lawsuit means all of the TPS designations terminated by the Trump administration are being challenged in court.
Yet, even a successful outcome in these lawsuits will not provide a permanent solution for TPS holders and their families. Neither Congress nor the executive branch is working on a path for TPS holders to remain in the United States permanently.
Congress must act to address the realities of a system they have thus far ignored, and the administration must stop its arbitrary attack of families living and contributing to American prosperity.