Joseph Law Firm Immigration Blog
The Trump administration’s efforts to remove certain immigrants from the U.S. are being fought in two separate federal lawsuits: one challenging the termination of Temporary Protected Status for certain countries and one challenging the arrest of immigrants at their green card interviews. The Trump administration has attempted to end both lawsuits by asking the respective judges to dismiss them, and both judges have refused to do so, allowing the lawsuits to move forward.
The Trump administration has gradually ended Temporary Protected Status—or, TPS—for nearly all of the countries who once were designated for protection. The government stated that the initial country conditions that created the need for protection of natives from those countries has improved enough that it would be safe for those protected natives to return.
The lawsuit is challenging the termination of protection for El Salvador, Haiti, and Honduras. The plaintiffs in the case argue that the Trump administration was motivated by racial bias when it ended TPS based on statements he made against immigrants. As part of the lawsuit, documents have been released that show members of the Department of State and other knowledgeable officials argued that these countries were still in poor condition and that there weren’t enough positive factors to warrant a return of the immigrants to those countries. The documents show that the Trump administration ignored this information and terminated protection anyway.
The Trump administration asked the judge in that case to dismiss the lawsuit, but the judge stated that it is plausible that “a discriminatory purpose was a motivating factor” in the decision. The final decision in the case could affect more than 400,000 TPS holders from those countries.
Green Card Arrests
The second lawsuit facing the Trump administration comes from arrests taking place at USCIS offices when immigrants appear for their marriage interviews which could lead to green cards. The Trump administration asked the judge to dismiss this case as well, arguing that the federal courts do not have jurisdiction over immigration, but the judge denied the request, allowing the lawsuit to move forward.
The plaintiffs in the case—five immigrants and their U.S. citizen spouses—argue that they cannot be targeted for arrest and removal simply because they have a prior order of removal, especially when those individuals are arrested at USCIS when they appear for an interview in process to obtain lawful permanent resident status. Documents released as part of the lawsuit show that USCIS and ICE had been collaborating to target individuals at their interviews. The lawsuit is being allowed to continue despite the Trump administration’s attempts to stop it from doing so.