Ninth Circuit Court Allows Trump’s Plan to End Temporary Protected Status to Go Forward
In a split decision, the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals ruled that the Trump administration’s termination of Temporary Protected Status (TPS) for four countries can proceed. The fate of nearly 250,000 people from El Salvador, Haiti, Nicaragua, and Sudan—and their families—is at stake.
The case, Ramos v. Nielsen, was filed in federal district court after the Secretary of Homeland Security agreed to terminate the TPS designations in late 2017 and early 2018. The plaintiffs in the case argued that the Trump administration changed the way it evaluated whether to extend or terminate TPS—yet the public was not given any notice of the change.
That change allowed the administration to take an unreasonably narrow approach to how it assessed a TPS-designated country’s conditions. Now, the government no longer reviews how current conditions impact whether a country is, in fact, a safe place to which a person can return. It only looks at whether the problems in a country at the time TPS was designated still exist.
The Ninth Circuit ruling does not take effect immediately. New deadlines for the termination of TPS vary by country. For nationals of Haiti, Nicaragua, and Sudan, the soonest TPS could end is March 5, 2021; for nationals of El Salvador, the earliest is November 5, 2021. A separate lawsuit in New York challenging the Haiti designation alone, Saget v. Trump, has also blocked Haiti’s TPS designation and could afford those TPS holders more time.