U.S. judge allows lawsuit over end of immigrant protections to proceed

BOSTON (Reuters) – A federal judge in Boston on Monday rejected a bid by the Trump administration to dismiss a lawsuit alleging that its decisions to end temporary protections for immigrants in the United States from Honduras, Haiti and El Salvador were racially motivated.

Haitians migrants wait to make their way to the U.S. and seek asylum at the San Ysidro Port of Entry in Tijuana, Mexico, July 15, 2016. REUTERS/Jorge Duenes/File Photo

U.S. District Judge Denise Casper in Boston ruled that a group of immigrants and two non-profit organizations could move forward with a lawsuit challenging the administration’s termination of the protective status enjoyed by thousands of people from those three countries.

The lawsuit had cited statements it said showed President Donald Trump’s “dislike and disregard for Latino and black immigrants,” most recently in reported remarks in January by Trump saying immigrants from Africa and Haiti come from “shithole countries.”

The U.S. Justice Department, which represented the administration in court, had no immediate comment.

Temporary protected status, or TPS, offers protection from deportation to immigrants already in the United States, including those who entered illegally, from countries affected by natural disasters, civil conflicts and other problems.

The Trump administration, under U.S. Secretary of Homeland Security Kirstjen Nielsen, has moved to revoke this special status and to expel tens of thousands of protected immigrants.

The actions came amid a crackdown on legal and illegal immigration by the government under Trump, who has promised to strengthen the nation’s borders and to build a wall along the U.S.-Mexico border.

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