Friday, 20 July, 2018

Trump Again Accused of Race Bias When Ending Immigration Program

Ten-year-old Gabriella Martinez is a U.S. citizen. Her mother is from El Salvador and is in the country with TPS. Martinez spoke at City Hall the day after the Trump administration announced the end of the temporary immigration program for El Salvador. (S Trump Again Accused of Race Bias When Ending Immigration Program
Melinda Barton | 25 February, 2018, 08:57

Bay State attorneys are suing President Trump and the Department of Homeland Security for rescinding the temporary protective statuses of thousands of local immigrants from El Salvador and Haiti, arguing that vulgar comments the president made last month suggest the order is racist and unconstitutional.

In recent months the administration announced that it would phase out Temporary Protected Status (TPS) grants that were instituted after earthquakes devastated Haiti and El Salvador.

"Today we are drawing a line in the sand and saying that governmental policy can not be based on bias and discrimination", said Oren Sellstrom, an attorney with the Lawyers' Committee for Civil Rights and Economic Justice, which filed the complaint. 50,000 Haitians have been eligible for TPS and now the Trump administration has until May 23 to make a decision on extending TPS for Haitians or allowing it to expire on July 22 which would mean possibly deportation for the current TPS holders.

It cites examples of Mr Trump's incendiary immigration rhetoric, including his references to "rapists" and people "bringing crime" from Mexico and Latin American during the presidential campaign and instances in which he reportedly said African immigrants would not want to return to their "huts", denigrated Haitians as all having AIDS and complained about immigrants from "s***hole countries" during a discussion about immigrants from Haiti and El Salvador. To see more, visit WLRN 91.3 FM. Contrary to popular misconception, it is not meant to protect people fleeing from their home countries, but rather foreign nationals who were already in the US when the designation was granted. "The administration's decision to terminate TPS for El Salvador and Haiti manifests these discriminatory views".

Temporary protected status for Salvadorans is scheduled to expire on September 9, 2019. If the lawsuit does not succeed, Haitian immigrants living in the USA under TPS would have to leave the country July 22, 2019.

"El Salvador is one of the "leading countries of nationality for persons granted either affirmative or defensive asylum" based on credible and well-founded fear of persecution or torture", this report says, as quoted in the complaint. Former President George W. Bush's administration subsequently granted a TPS designation to El Salvador in 2001 after a series of earthquakes rocked the country. The NAACP lawsuit was filed in Maryland and alleges government officials failed to follow the normal decision-making process when considering whether to renew the TPS granted to Haitian immigrants since an natural disaster rocked the country in 2010.

As its legal basis, the lawsuit contends the Trump administration violated the plaintiffs' Fifth Amendment right to due process, which prohibits "irrational government action".

The group contends that these truths went ignored when two Homeland Security officials announced in November 2017 and January 2018, respectively, that improved conditions in Haiti and El Salvador justified removal of protected status.