Connecticut, US

Oct 04 2018

Federal Judge Temporarily Blocks Termination of Temporary Protected Status for Four Countries

United States

At a glance

  • A federal district court in California has issued a preliminary injunction that blocks the Trump Administration from terminating Temporary Protected Status for individuals from Sudan, Nicaragua, Haiti and El Salvador while a lawsuit challenging the terminations continues.
  • The Department of Homeland Security has 15 days to formulate a plan to ensure that TPS documents and employment authorization remain valid for beneficiaries from the four countries.

The situation

A federal district court judge in San Francisco has temporarily enjoined the Trump Administration from implementing its plans to terminate Temporary Protected Status (TPS) for individuals from Sudan, Nicaragua, Haiti and El Salvador. On Wednesday, U.S. District Court Judge Edward M. Chen ordered the government to preserve the status quo for affected TPS beneficiaries while the lawsuit challenging the government’s decision to end TPS for certain countries continues. The case is Ramos et al. v. Nielsen et al. in the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of California. 

Judge Chen has given the Department of Homeland Security 15 days to formulate a plan to ensure that TPS employment authorization remains valid for nationals of the four countries. TPS had been scheduled for termination as follows:

  • Sudan, effective November 2, 2018;
  • Nicaragua, effective January 5, 2019;
  • Haiti, effective July 22, 2019; and
  • El Salvador, effective September 9, 2019.

In addition, TPS for Nepal is set to be terminated on June 24, 2019 and Honduras on January 5, 2020. TPS beneficiaries from these two countries are not affected by the court order.

What this means for affected TPS beneficiaries

TPS holders from Sudan, Nicaragua, Haiti and El Salvador will temporarily maintain their right to remain and continue to work in the United States pursuant to the court’s injunction. DHS is expected to issue guidance for affected beneficiaries by the court’s deadline. However, the agency could decide to appeal and seek an emergency stay of the temporary injunction. 

Judge Chen has said that he plans to issue a final decision in the case as soon as possible, in light of the imminent termination of TPS for Sudan. If he finds in favor of TPS beneficiaries and their families, it is likely that the Administration will vigorously pursue an appeal. Fragomen is closely following the case and will provide update as developments occur.   

This alert is for informational purposes only. If you have any questions, please contact the immigration professional with whom you work at Fragomen.