Im­mi­grants sue US over tem­po­rary pro­tected sta­tus be­ing ended

Ripon Bulletin - - Local / State -

SAN FRAN­CISCO (AP) — The Trump ad­min­is­tra­tion’s de­ci­sion to end a pro­gram that lets im­mi­grants from four coun­tries live and work legally in the U.S. was mo­ti­vated by racism and leaves the im­mi­grants’ Amer­i­can born chil­dren with an “im­pos­si­ble choice,” ac­cord­ing to a fed­eral law­suit filed on Mon­day.

Nine im­mi­grants and five chil­dren filed the suit in fed­eral court in San Fran­cisco to re­in­state tem­po­rary pro­tected sta­tus for peo­ple from El Sal­vador, Haiti, Nicaragua and Su­dan.

The sta­tus is granted to coun­tries rav­aged by nat­u­ral dis­as­ters or war. It lets cit­i­zens of those coun­tries re­main in the U.S. un­til the sit­u­a­tion improves back home.

The law­suit — at least the third chal­leng­ing the ad­min­is­tra­tion’s de­ci­sion to end tem­po­rary pro­tected sta­tus — cites President Don­ald Trump’s vul­gar lan­guage dur­ing a meet­ing in Jan­uary to de­scribe African coun­tries.

“They did it be­cause of xeno­pho­bia, and we need to make sure that we say it loudly so that ev­ery­one knows,” said Martha Arevalo, ex­ec­u­tive direc­tor of the im­mi­grant ad­vo­cacy group, Cen­tral Amer­i­can Re­source Cen­ter.

Arevalo spoke at a rally to an­nounce the law­suit out­side the fed­eral court­house in San Fran­cisco that was at­tended by some of the plain­tiffs and dozens of demon­stra­tors, some car­ry­ing signs that read, “Let Our Peo­ple Stay.”

One of the plain­tiffs, Cristina Mo­rales, said she came to the U.S. in 1993 at the age of 12 af­ter flee­ing El Sal­vador to es­cape do­mes­tic vi­o­lence. She re­ceived tem­po­rary pro­tected sta­tus in 2001 and now works as an af­ter­school teacher in the San Fran­cisco Bay Area.

She was ac­com­pa­nied at the rally by her 14-yearold daugh­ter, Crista Ramos, who along with her 11-year-old son, Diego Ramos, are U.S. cit­i­zens.

“I don’t want the govern­ment to split my fam­ily and to lose my home, my friends and the op­por­tu­nity for a good ed­u­ca­tion,” Crista said.

Mo­rales, 37, her voice quiv­er­ing with emo­tion, said she has noth­ing to go back to in El Sal­vador.

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