Lawyers Committee for Civil Rights and Economic Justice
May 4, 2018

Federal Court Challenge to Trump Administration’s Honduras TPS Termination


Today, in response to the Trump Administration’s statement that it is terminating humanitarian protection for Honduran immigrants by rescinding the country’s Temporary Protected Status (TPS), civil rights and immigrant justice organizations announced that they would immediately move to challenge the termination in federal court.

In a currently pending federal lawsuit filed in February 2018, the Lawyers’ Committee for Civil Rights and Economic Justice is seeking to halt previously announced TPS terminations for Haiti and El Salvador. The suit was filed on behalf of Centro Presente, an immigrants’ rights organization, as well as individual TPS recipients.

The Lawyers’ Committee and Centro Presente announced today that they would immediately move to amend their lawsuit to challenge today’s termination of TPS for Honduras. They described the Trump Administration’s newest action as an escalation of the federal government’s hateful, harmful, and heinous actions targeting immigrants of color for discriminatory and disgraceful unconstitutional treatment. The groups noted that Hondurans make up a substantial and important part of our communities in Massachusetts, and called the Trump Administration’s announcement today a continuation of illegally discriminatory conduct.

“As the Trump Administration continues to terminate humanitarian protections to our immigrant communities, we are left with only one explanation for its actions: discrimination,” said Iván Espinoza-Madrigal, the Executive Director at the Lawyers’ Committee. “We will not stand for immigration policies that violate our Constitution, core American values, and fundamental human rights principles,” added Espinoza-Madrigal.

“Our communities continue to be rocked to the core with every new action by this racist administration,” said Patricia Montes, Executive Director of Centro Presente. “Honduras is not ready to receive and reintegrate immigrants who are being deported from the US and other countries like México. Every year one hundred thousand Hondurans leave their country due to the level of extreme violence they confront daily and additionally, this year, the United Nations Economic Commission for Latin America and the Caribbean declared that Honduras is the poorest country in Latin America displacing Haiti.”

The federal lawsuit, Centro Presente et al. v. Trump et al., is currently pending before Judge Denise Casper, in the U.S. District Court for Massachusetts.

Centro Presente is holding a rally on Monday, May 7th at 11 AM in the Massachusetts State House to protest the ongoing anti-immigrant actions of the Trump Administration.

ACLU Southern California
March 12, 2018

200,000 People Could Be Forced Out of the Country by Trump Action

SAN FRANCISCO — Nine people with Temporary Protected Status (TPS) and five United States citizen children of TPS holders are today filing a lawsuit against the federal government to stop the unlawful termination of TPS for more than 200,000 people living in the U.S. and to protect the tens of thousands of U.S. citizen children whose parents would be forced to leave under the administration’s policy.

The lawsuit was filed in U.S. District Court in San Francisco by the ACLU Foundation of Southern California, the National Day Laborer Organizing Network (NDLON), and the law firm of Sidley Austin LLP.

The Trump administration adopted a new, far narrower interpretation of the federal law governing TPS, and then used that interpretation to terminate TPS status for all individuals from El Salvador, Haiti, Nicaragua, and Sudan. Many of the TPS-holders from those countries have resided in the U.S. for 20 or more years, but will be forced out of the country if the administration’s new policy remains in effect. Their U.S. citizen children will then be forced to either separate from their parents or leave the only country they have ever known.

"These American children should not have to choose between their country and their family," said Ahilan Arulanantham, advocacy and legal director of the ACLU of Southern California.

"I have lived here almost twice as long as I ever lived in El Salvador. My home and family are here," said Orlando Zepeda, a 51 year old father of two children and a member of the National TPS Alliance, a coalition established and led by TPS holders with a mission to defend TPS. "The decision to end TPS for El Salvador and other countries was devastating. Today we join together to say that it was also illegal."

"With the stroke of a pen, this administration upended the lives of hundreds of thousands of people lawfully residing in the United States for years and sometimes decades," said Emi MacLean, staff attorney for NDLON. "But in terminating TPS in the way that it did, this administration was exercising authority it did not have."

The complaint also argues that the administration's restrictive view of the TPS laws was unconstitutional as it was adopted to further the administration's anti-immigrant, white supremacist agenda. Earlier this year, during a negotiation over the fate of people who have TPS status, Trump referred to the affected nations as "shithole countries."

The plaintiffs are members of diverse organizations fighting to defend TPS, including the National TPS Alliance, CARECEN-Los Angeles, the International Union of Painters and Allied Trades (IUPAT), UNITE-HERE, and African Communities Together.

Their lawsuit is the first to challenge the TPS terminations on behalf of the American children of TPS holders, and the first to challenge all four of the TPS terminations that have taken place under the Trump administration.

Read the lawsuit at

American Immigration Council
February 22, 2018

Class Action Suit Challenges Government’s Denial of TPS Holders’ Green Cards

Washington, D.C.– Today, the American Immigration Council, the Northwest Immigrant Rights Project, and several Temporary Protected Status holders filed a class action lawsuit against officials at the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services and U.S. Department of Homeland Security in a federal district court in New York. They are challenging the government’s unlawful practice of denying TPS holders lawful permanent resident status (green cards) based on a misinterpretation of the law.

The plaintiffs allege that Congress intended a grant of TPS to be an “inspection and admission”—one of the requirements for gaining lawful permanent resident status. In violation of the Immigration and Nationality Act, USCIS denies the green card applications of TPS holders who first entered the United States without going through an inspection process at a port of entry, ignoring the fact that they subsequently were inspected and admitted when they were granted TPS.  

“The Trump administration’s recent decisions to end TPS for citizens of several countries leaves tens of thousands of longstanding members of their communities at risk of deportation when their status expires in the coming months,” said Mary Kenney, senior staff attorney at the American Immigration Council. “Many individuals about to lose their TPS would be able to become lawful permanent residents in the United States were it not for DHS’s ongoing misinterpretation of the law. If this lawsuit is successful, it would provide a way for some of those individuals to continue their lives in the United States.”

The lawsuit documents the cases of individuals who have maintained TPS for years—many for close to two decades—who now seek to become lawful permanent residents through their U.S. citizen spouses, adult children, parents, or employers, but whose adjustment applications for permanent residence have been denied because USCIS does not recognize that they have been “inspected and admitted.”

“Two federal courts—the Sixth and the Ninth Circuits—have ordered USCIS to correctly apply the law.  TPS holders living within the dozen states under the jurisdiction of these two courts are able to gain permanent status. TPS holders living anywhere else in the country are victims of USCIS’s unlawful policy and suffer great hardships. It is especially egregious that Secretary Nielson has ordered the termination of TPS status for hundreds of thousands of longtime lawful residents, while at the same time refusing to follow the law in allowing them to apply for permanent residence,” said Matt Adams, legal director of NWIRP.

Today’s lawsuit seeks to expand the decisions of the Ninth and Sixth Circuits—which found that TPS holders are “inspected and admitted” for purposes of applying for permanent residence while remaining in the United States—to TPS holders nationwide. The lawsuit seeks to represent, “[a]ll individuals with TPS who reside within the geographic boundaries of the Courts of Appeals for the First, Second, Third, Fourth, Fifth, Seventh, Eighth, and Tenth Circuits; whose initial entries into the United States were without inspection; who have applied or will apply for adjustment of status to lawful permanent residence with USCIS; and whose adjustment applications have been or will be denied on the basis of USCIS’s policy that TPS does not constitute an admission for purposes of adjusting status.” 

The lawsuit is asking that the court declare USCIS’s policy unlawful and order it to stop applying the policy; to find that TPS holders have been “inspected and admitted” for the purposes of their permanent residence applications; and t
o order USCIS to reopen class members’ applications that were denied and allow those TPS holders the opportunity to have their applications reconsidered with the law properly applied.


For press inquiries, please contact Maria Frausto