Trump administration walks back threats to TPS for Hondurans

Posted by Editor
Posted in Honduras, USA

There are deep, persistent social and economic issues in Honduras, Nepal and plenty of other countries around the world that are driving residents to emigrate. It appears that the Trump administration this week at least partially conceded to this reality in agreeing to halt the rollback of Temporary-Protected Status (TPS) for Hondurans and Nepalis.

The case of Ramos vs. Nielsen alleges that government officials illegally diverged from how all previous administrations had interpreted TPS law, as part of a broad effort to decrease the number of nonwhite immigrants in the U.S. Lawyers representing the plaintiffs in Bhattarai vs. Nielsen, the case filed last month, made the same legal arguments.

Government lawyers said that those countries had sufficiently recovered from the original disasters, and that TPS was never meant to be permanent. A Department of Justice spokesman last month said the decision to terminate TPS for Honduras and Nepal was “both lawful and reasonable.”

Under the agreement, TPS will remain in place for Honduran and Nepalese immigrants at least until the appeal in the Ramos case is decided. Lawyer Ahilan Arulanantham with the ACLU of Southern California said that oral arguments with the 9th Circuit probably will be set for this summer, giving TPS beneficiaries several months of reprieve.

“I feel like I’ve been sick and this agreement is a few drops of medicine,” lead plaintiff Keshav Bhattarai, a TPS holder from Nepal who lives in Sunnyvale, near San Jose, said in a statement.

Also Tuesday, House Democrats unveiled a new version of the Dream Act, formally called the Dream and Promise Act, including a path to citizenship for beneficiaries of TPS. Arulanantham said immigrants with TPS, many of whom have lived in the U.S. for decades, deserve stability.

“Our lawsuit is not the solution to this — it’s temporary relief,” he said.

Read the full story from the LA Times here.