A lawsuit was filed Monday on behalf of plaintiffs represented by two Los Angeles civil rights groups, among others, seeking to stop the Trump administration’s recent decision to revoke the temporary protected status of about 100,000 immigrants from Honduras and Nepal.
The proposed class-action lawsuit filed in federal court in San Francisco against the U.S. Department of Homeland Security alleges that termination of the program is “unlawful” and “motivated by racial animus.”
A DHS representative said that as a matter of policy, the agency does not comment on matters involving pending litigation.
The suit was filed on behalf of six adults with Temporary Protected Status and two U.S. citizen children of TPS holders. The plaintiffs are represented by the ACLU Foundation of Southern California, ACLU Foundation of Northern California, Asian Americans Advancing Justice-Asian Law Caucus, Asian Americans Advancing Justice-Los Angeles, the National Day Laborer Organizing Network and the law firm of Sidley Austin LLP.
The Temporary Protected Status program allows people from certain countries to lawfully live and work in the United States when they cannot safely return to their country of origin due to armed conflict, natural disaster or other circumstances.
A federal judge blocked the administration’s efforts to end the program for the 300,000 people from El Salvador, Haiti, Nicaragua and Sudan currently living in the U.S. under TPS, but the decision left out more than 100,000 immigrants from Honduras and Nepal.
The complaint alleges that the administration made the TPS termination decision to further Trump’s “America First” policy. The lawsuit lists allegedly racist statements made by Trump in reference to Latin American and South Asian countries and immigrants, including referring to immigrants as snakes and animals, mispronouncing Nepal as “nipple,” and faking an Indian accent in imitation of Indian Prime Minster Narendra Modi.
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