*Practice limited to federal immigration law. Licensed in NY, MA, but not in CA.

Ninth Circuit Ruling: Trump Administration has Broad Discretion to End Temporary Protected Status (TPS)

According to a report from the Orange County Register, a 2-1 ruling by a federal court panel has opened the door for the Trump Administration to end Temporary Protected Status (TPS) for as many as 400,000 immigrants in the coming year.

It is an unfortunate ruling that once again exposes the vulnerabilities that many immigrants face. While nothing is yet set in stone, the power of the executive branch was affirmed by the court. Here, our Los Angeles immigration attorney highlights the key takeaways from the decision.

An Overview of the Ninth Circuit’s Temporary Protected Status Ruling

The Background

Temporary Protected Status (TPS) is a form of temporary immigration relief. When a country is deemed too dangerous to deport people to—either because of war, civil unrest, or natural disaster, or for any other reason—TPS may be granted. Beneficiaries of TPS will neither be detained or deported by federal immigration officers. They are, at least temporarily, protected. Temporary Protected Status is designated by the Secretary of Homeland Security. Unfortunately, TPS does not offer a guaranteed path to a green card.

The Decision

Since taking office, President Trump has worked to undermine and roll back TPS protections. A lower court initially blocked the administration’s most aggressive efforts to essentially end outstanding protections.

On September 14th, 2020, the United States Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit issued its decision in the case of Ramos v. Wolf. The appeals court determined that the executive branch has broad discretion over Temporary Protected Status.

By doing so, the federal appeals court affirmed that the Trump Administration has the legal authority to move forward with its plan to end TPS for hundreds of thousands of immigrants in 2021.

The Implications

The fallout from this decision is enormous: As of now, the Trump Administration may be able to deport as many as 400,000 TPS beneficiaries in 2021. People from several countries—including El Salvador, Honduras, Sudan, Nepal, Haiti, and Nicaragua—would be affected. The decision is extremely alarming as President Trump has long been openly hostile to TPS.

That being said, there is still hope. The future for TPS recipients is not set in stone. The 2020 presidential election will have enormous implications for hundreds of thousands of people who are now facing the possibility of deportation. In contrast to President Trump, Democratic candidate Joe Biden has pledged to preserve TPS protections for the people who are currently covered. We will have our chance to make our voice heard in the coming months.

Call Our Los Angeles Immigration Attorney for Immediate Assistance

At Goldstein Immigration Lawyers, our Los Angeles immigration lawyers provide top quality advocacy to clients. If you have any questions or concerns about your case, we are more than ready to help. You deserve personal attention from a top-rated attorney. Call us now for a confidential initial appointment. We provide immigration law services in Los Angeles, Southern California, and beyond.

Josh Goldstein
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