Trump Administration Defends Plan to End Haitians’ Special Immigration Status

(Bloomberg) -- The Trump administration asked a judge to throw out a lawsuit over its plan to strip tens of thousands of Haitians of the immigrant status they got after an earthquake devastated the island nation in 2010, saying conditions have improved enough for their return.

Temporary Protected Status, a humanitarian policy known as TPS, "is not tantamount to a grant of asylum, nor is it a grant of lawful immigration status," the U.S. said Tuesday in a filing in federal court in Brooklyn, New York, where two Haitian-affiliated groups have sued.

A federal judge in San Francisco last week blocked the administration from stripping El Salvador, Honduras, Nicaragua and Sudan of their Temporary Protected Status, which recognizes that they are dangerous places to live due do natural disasters, drug epidemics or armed conflict.

The U.S. said the decision to end TPS for Haitians was made after "extensive outreach" to community members in the U.S. and "significant steps" that Haiti has made since the earthquake. The plaintiffs, backed by attorneys general from more than a dozen states, say the plan would result in mass deportations of people who’ve established families, careers and businesses in the U.S.

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