Nepalis with temporary protected status granted brief reprieve

SAN FRANCISCO—A group of Nepali and Honduran immigrants residing in the United States under a program called “Temporary Protected Status,” or TPS, will be able to maintain their designation until a decision in another court case on the same issue is decided.

            The Trump administration is seeking to terminate TPS designations for multiple living in the United States – all here lawfully – from various other countries.

            A group of six adults and two children filed a class-action lawsuit on behalf of more than 100,000 TPS holders who were in the United States from Honduras and Nepal. The TPS holders were granted temporary, legal residency in the United States. The eight class-action plaintiffs in the Bhattarai v. Nielsen case were granted a reprieve in mid March, with all protected members within the class granted extended TPS designations until an appeal of Ramos v. Nielsen is completed.

            Refugees who are lawfully allowed into the United States are offered ‘Temporary Protected Status’ designation when they are unable to return to their native countries due to armed conflict, natural disaster or some other extenuating circumstance. An estimated 15,000 Nepalis are in the United States with the TPS designation.

            The 15,000-some protected Nepalis were set to have their TPS designations expire on June 24 - which is only 12 weeks after publication of this report.

            Hondurans under TPS designated were slated to have their protections end on Jan. 5, 2020; the Department of Homeland Security established both termination dates in April 2018; Kirstjen Nielsen heads the department and is named in both lawsuits associated with this story.

            A district court, in Ramos v. Nielsen, ruled the Trump administration’s policy to terminate TPS designations for refugees from El Salvador, Haiti, Nicaragua and Sudan was motivated by racism. The plaintiffs in Bhattarai also claimed the administration’s desire to terminate TPS designations were targeted at non-European, non-white countries.

            Ramos is currently on the appeal docket in the Ninth Circuit and will likely be heard this summer; a decision should come down shortly after deliberations.

            A major point of contention in the TPS designation challenge: those who were granted temporary protections have since had children born in the United States. Terminating TPS designations, many plaintiffs in both cases against Homeland Security are arguing, would force families to be torn apart.

Here is AH1's previous reporting on the TPS legal challenge.