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After more than a year of negotiation, settlement talks between the Biden administration and plaintiffs in a lawsuit over temporary protected status fell through on Tuesday, leaving more than 250,000 people at risk of deportation.
The litigation followed concerted actions by the Trump administration to end TPS for the citizens of several countries — El Salvador, Honduras, Nicaragua, Haiti, Sudan and Nepal — as part of its efforts to wind down extended use of the protections. TPS is a form of humanitarian relief granted to countries devastated by natural disasters or war and allows beneficiaries to work legally while they remain in the U.S. Created in 1990, the program currently applies to people from 15 countries.
The plaintiffs won temporary relief in 2018 when a federal district judge in San Francisco granted an injunction to block the termination of protections. But in 2020, a three-judge panel on the 9th Circuit Court of Appeals in San Francisco reversed the order in a 2-1 decision. That hasn’t taken effect because lawyers for the immigrants requested a hearing before the full court, which remains pending.
The Biden administration redesignated temporary protected status for Haiti and Sudan, but has not done so for the four other countries. Those beneficiaries could lose their protections as early as the end of this year, while the Biden administration goes to court to defend the previous administration’s decisions.
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