U.S. District Judge Edward Chen issued a preliminary injunction in a suite brought by a number of residents on Temporary Protection Status (TPS) against the implementation of a plan to end TPS for nationals of El Salvador, Haiti, Nicaragua and Sudan. TPS is granted to certain groups of people in the wake of natural disasters, wars, outbreaks of disease, and other catastrophes that would make it difficult for them to return safely to their home countries. Government officials periodically review the program to decide whether to extend it, and most groups have received regular extensions in the past.

Announced over the past year, TPS for all four countries have been terminated by the Trump administration, with El Salvador’s and Haiti’s expiring on July 22, 2019, Nicaragua’s expiring on January 5, 2019, and Sudan’s the earliest at November 9, 2018. Terminating TPS for these countries will end protected status for more than 300,000, leaving less than 80,000 people in the program.

The Judge ruled that the government has failed to establish any if harm if “the status quo is maintained during the pendency of this litigation”. The Judge also found substantial evidence that the administration lacked “any explanation or justification” to end the “temporary protected status” designations for immigrants from those countries. This is a temporary block, during the duration of the litigation, nationals from these countries on TPS will be allowed to continue to reside in the United States. However, the court’s decision is likely to be appealed with the Department of Justice already stating that the ruling “usurps the order of the executive branch in our constitutional order”.

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