Comments by Sanwar Ali:
Not surprisingly Trump visa policy is opposed via litigation through the Court system. It was the same with Obama. American Friends Service Committee a Quaker organisation had the following to say:
…Since taking office, President Trump has ended crucial protections for immigrants from six countries. Over 300,000 people are at risk of losing legal Temporary Protected Status (TPS)…
Joe Biden who may very well win the presidential elections on 3 November 2020, had the following to say in “The Biden plan for securing our values as a nation of immigrants”:
…Biden will protect TPS and Deferred Enforced Departure (DED) holders from being returned to countries that are unsafe…
If Biden wins then this should mean that people under Temporary Protected Status will be able to stay. Interestingly when Joe Biden was Vice-President in the Obama administration more people were deported than under Trump!
A US appeals court has ruled that Donald Trump can end humanitarian protections for hundreds of thousands of immigrants, despite many of them living in the United States for decades. The ruling means that immigrants will need to secure another type of legal immigration status or face having to leave the country.
A panel of three judge in California’s 9th US Circuit Court of Appeals reversed a lower court decision, which blocked Trump’s initial move to scrap so-called ‘Temporary Protected Status’ (TPS) for immigrants in the US from countries including El Salvador, Haiti, Nicaragua and Sudan.
In addition, the ruling will likely affect the US immigration status of people from Honduras and Nepal, many of whom had filed a separate lawsuit that was suspended in 2019 pending the outcome of a wider case.
Claims that decision to phase out humanitarian protections not reviewable
According to Judge Consuelo Callahan, who was appointed by former US President, George W. Bush, the Trump administration’s decision to phase out humanitarian protections were ‘not reviewable,’ therefore, they should not have been blocked.
In a 54-page opinion document, Callahan dismissed a claim made by plaintiffs, which suggested that Trump’s previous criticism of non-white, non-European immigrants influenced the TPS decisions.
The judging panel ruled 2 – 1 in Trump’s favor.
In his opinion document, Callahan said: “While we do not condone the offensive and disparaging nature of the president’s remarks, we find it instructive that these statements occurred primarily in contexts removed from and unrelated to TPS policy or decisions.”
Despite the ruling, an attorney with the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) of Southern California, which represented plaintiffs in the lawsuit, said that they planned to seek another ‘en banc’ review of the case by 11 of the appeals court’s judges, according to a report published by Reuters.
The appeal court’s decision to overturn the lower court ruling has been described as ‘deeply flawed’, with one attorney, Ahilan Arulanantham, saying that the case could eventually be appealed in the US Supreme Court – depending on the outcome of the request for a wider appeals court review.
Separate TPS related litigation for Haitians
The scrapping of TPS for Haitians is understood to be subject to separate litigation in the 2nd US Circuit Court of Appeals in New York. The appeals court has heard arguments for this case, back in June, but no ruling has yet been made.
The TPS decision is the latest in a series of restrictive US immigration measures pursued by Trump. Throughout his presidency, Trump has hit US immigration hard with a number of executive orders and has made it a staple of his 2020 re-election campaign.
Under the TPS immigration route, non-US nationals are granted entry into America if their home nation has experienced a natural disaster, armed conflict or some other unprecedented event, allowing them to remain in the US and apply for work permits.
TPS status has to be renewed on periodic basis by the secretary of Homeland Security, who has the authority to extend it for six to 18-month intervals.
Claims that countries no longer need TPS scheme
The Trump administration claims that many of the countries under the TPS scheme have recovered from the natural disasters and conflicts that first afflicted them, arguing that TPS status has continually been renewed for years beyond its need.
Trump’s Democratic opponent for the US Presidency, Joe Biden, slammed the TPS decision calling it ‘politically motivated.’ Biden said that he would continue to protect TPS immigrants from being returned to unsafe nations.
El Salvadorian immigrants are the biggest beneficiaries of the TPS scheme, with an estimated 260,000 Salvadorans protected by the program.
However, despite the appeals court ruling, a bilateral agreement between the US and El Salvador means that they can remain in America for an additional 12 months even if Trump’s decision to scrap the scheme is upheld.
If the ruling is ultimately upheld, between 300,000 and 400,000 immigrants could be forced out of the US.
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