Earlier this month, U.S. District Judge Edward Chen issued a preliminary injunction, temporarily blocking the Trump administration from deporting more than 300,000 migrants from El Salvador, Nicaragua, Sudan, and Haiti under the Temporary Protected Status (TPS) program. Created in 1990 by Congress, the program offers protection for migrants in countries experiencing natural disasters, wars, and health epidemics.
The federal judge declared that the termination of the program would lead to significant harm and extreme hardship for its recipients and their families, citing a brief filed by 17 states that stated they would lose an estimated $132 billion in gross domestic product, $5.2 billion in contributions toward Medicare and Social Security, and $733 million in employee turnover costs if TPS beneficiaries are deported. Additionally, TPS holders have thousands of children who were born and currently live in the United States.
On the other hand, there is no immediate harm to the federal government if the TPS program continues. Rather, the presidential agenda to end TPS is based on racial bias, not on facts presented before the administration. Chen mentioned Trump’s negative comments about Mexicans in June 2015, his demand to prevent Muslims from entering the U.S. in December 2015, referring African nations—as well as Haiti and El Salvador—as “s******* countries” in January 2018, and using the actions of the MS-13 gang to call immigrants criminals in February 2018.
Immigrants from 10 countries are currently part of the program, including 263, 000 from El Salvador, 5,300 from Nicaragua, 46,000 from Haiti, and 1,000 from Sudan. However, immigrants from two countries—Honduras and Nepal—could see the end of their TPS protections.
Since getting elected, President Trump vowed to end protected status for most beneficiaries of the program. He has tried to end the DACA program and instituted a policy which separates migrant families who illegally cross the southwest border.