First-of-a-kind lawsuit filed in SF challenges Trump administration over immigration

SAN FRANCISCO (KGO) -- A lawsuit was filed in U.S. District Court in San Francisco Monday challenging the constitutionality of a recent Trump administration decision on Temporary Protected Status or TPS. Congress enacted TPS in 1990.

It allows people from designated countries to live and work here legally for extended periods if their homeland is facing a crisis like an earthquake or civil war. President Trump is doing away with the policy for Haiti, El Salvador, Nicaragua, and Sudan, which could lead to the deportations of tens of thousands of individuals.

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The lawsuit is filed on behalf of nine people with TPS and for the first time, five children born in the United States are also suing the government. The suit alleges the new policy violates the constitutional rights of due process and equal protection.

Emi MacLean is an attorney with The National Day Laborer Organizing Network which is one of the organizations filing the lawsuit. MacLean said, "The decisions by this administration to terminate TPS were not based on an analysis of the countries' conditions as required by law or as previous administrations have done but the racial animus."

Attorney Maclean points to negotiations over TPS earlier this year when President Trump allegedly used a slur to refer to some of the nation's he's targeting. The move to terminate TPS status would send Cristina Morales a mother of two who lives in San Pablo back to El Salvador. She's been here since 1993. At a news conference and rally outside the Federal building, Morales became emotional. "This is my country. I have nothing in El Salvador, nothing. "

Morales is one of the plaintiffs in the lawsuit which is also filed on behalf of several children who would be forced to leave with their parents or stay here without them. Mazin Ahmed is from Sudan, a current a student at the University of Southern Maine.

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Ahmed says he hopes to become a doctor. "Having the TPS stripped away from me, turns my dreams into a nightmare."

The deportations would take effect next year. According to the lawsuit more than 200 thousand TPS holders and tens of thousands of their American born children could be impacted.

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