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US government blocked from discontinuing protections for immigrants
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US government blocked from discontinuing protections for immigrants

A judge for the US District Court for the Northern District of California issued a temporary injunction on Wednesday that bars the Trump administration from discontinuing a program that gave Temporary Protected Status (TPS) to immigrants from certain countries.

These protections were signed into law by former president George Bush in 1990. They allowed immigrants from El Salvador, Haiti, Nicaragua and Sudan to live and work in the US legally.

According to Judge Edward Chen, the more than 300,000 people involved in this program would have suffered irreparable hardship because deportation would force immigrants to choose between splitting up their families or taking their children, who are American citizens, out of the country:

The government has failed to establish any real harm were the status quo (which has been in existence for as long as two decades) is maintained during the pendency of this litigation. Indeed, if anything, Plaintiffs and amici have established without dispute that local and national economies will be hurt if hundreds of thousands of TPS beneficiaries are uprooted and removed.

The judge found that it is not the role of the president to enforce immigration laws or decide issues of safety and security or to enforce immigration laws.

Wednesday’s order follows a lawsuit that was filed in March against the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) by the American Civil Liberties Union on behalf of TPS recipients and their children. DHS has not released a statement regarding the pending litigation.