About 100,000 people from Honduras and Nepal have been granted the right to retain temporary protected status and remain in the United States for the time being under an agreement filed in federal court in San Francisco Tuesday.
The administration of President Donald Trump is seeking to end the temporary protected status for people from those countries and four others – El Salvador, Nicaragua, Haiti and Sudan.
The status is granted to people whose countries are undergoing upheavals from natural disasters or civil war. The Trump administration has said conditions in those countries are improving.
In October, U.S. District Judge Edward Chen of San Francisco issued a preliminary injunction allowing more than 300,000 people from the four other countries to remain in the United States while they challenge the termination. The U.S. Justice Department is now appealing that ruling to the 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals.
Representatives of Honduran and Nepali residents filed a similar lawsuit against the U.S. government in February. In an agreement signed by Chen on Tuesday, lawyers for both sides agreed to stay proceedings in the new lawsuit and allow the residents to remain in the United States until the appeal in the first case is resolved.
The groups represented in the second case include about 86,000 Hondurans and 15,000 Nepalis, according to the lawsuit.
Keshav Bhattarai, a lawsuit plaintiff from Nepal who lives in Sunnyvale, said the agreement “gives us all some breathing room to call on Congress to give us what we really need: permanent protection for TPS holders.”
Chen said in his preliminary injunction order that the plaintiffs in the first lawsuit had raised serious questions about whether the decision to terminate the protection was motivated by unconstitutional bias against non-white, non-European immigrants.