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In 'Devastating' Ruling, 9th Circuit Upholds Trump's Termination of Humanitarian Protections for Nearly 300,000 Migrants

"This court decision is doubling down on the Trump administration's anti-immigrant policy agenda."

Protesters holding a banner reading, "U.S. Immigration Policy Is A Crime" at a silent protest in January 2020. (Photo: Erik McGregor/LightRocket via Getty Images)

Protesters holding a banner reading, "U.S. Immigration Policy Is A Crime" at a silent protest in January 2020. (Photo: Erik McGregor/LightRocket via Getty Images)

A federal appeals court on Monday upheld the Trump administration's effort to end humanitarian protections for hundreds of thousands of immigrants, paving the way for possible mass deportations of people who have lived in the country for years.

The Congressional Hispanic Caucus called the 2-1 decision (pdf) from the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Ninth District blocking a lower court's ruling "devastating."

At issue is Temporary Protected Status (TPS) for people from El Salvador, Haiti, Nicaragua, and Sudan. TPS designation allows for work permission and deportation protection for individuals whose home countries are experiencing extraordinary conditions including armed conflict or the fallout from natural disasters.

The Texas Tribune reported:

[Immigrants from the four countries] could be forced to leave behind U.S. citizen children if the ruling stands. Recipients from Nepal and Honduras could also be affected as a separate but similar case on their behalf was placed on hold pending the outcome of the case involving the other nationalities, according to Reuters.

The ruling would require Salvadorans to leave the country by Nov. 5, 2021... The deadline would be March 5, 2021 for recipients from the other five countries, organizers with the National TPS Alliance, advocacy group for the immigrants, said during a press call Monday.

"This government has failed me and the other 250,000 U.S. citizen children of TPS holders," said Crista Ramos, lead plaintiff in the case. 

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Immigrant rights groups denounced the ruling.

"This court decision is doubling down on the Trump administration's anti-immigrant policy agenda, leaving nearly 300,000 TPS holders vulnerable to family separation and mass deportation," said Peniel Ibe, policy engagement coordinator for Quaker organization American Friends Service Committee.

"Without Congressional action," warned Ibe, "this will lead to devastating moral and economic consequences not just for TPS holders but for their families, communities, and for the entire country."

Oscar Chacón, executive director of Alianza Americas, expressed outrage as well and accused the Trump administration of "ignoring the conditions in their countries of origin and the family, communal, and economic ties that TPS holders have built during years, even decades, of residing in the U.S." and being "motivated only by the white supremacist agenda."

TPS holders from the four countries "have been living in the U.S. for years, they have built families, working relationships, companies, and around 130,000 are essential workers on the front lines of the battle against Covid-19," Chacón said. He further warned that "the lives and futures of hundreds of thousands of TPS holders and their families, including their children who are U.S. citizens, are now in disarray."

According to Chacón, the ruling also provides more evidence people need to effect change come Election Day.

"We must vote for our families, for our communities, and for those who cannot do it," he said.

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