Federal Court Rules that Government’s Termination of Haitian TPS Might Be Unconstitutional
Earlier this year, the Trump Administration moved to terminate Temporary Protected Status for citizens of Haiti. There have been many challenges to such terminations. Saget v. Trump is one of these challenges. The court denied the Government’s motion to dismiss the case.
As mentioned above, the Trump Administration moved to terminate Haiti’s TPS designation. The statute, as mentioned in a previous post, states that these determinations are not reviewable by the court. The Administration moved to dismiss the case based on that phrase in the statute.
The Plaintiffs moved to challenge the determination on other grounds. The Administration argued that the court lacked jurisdiction under the statute. The plaintiffs argued otherwise. They argued that the determination was arbitrary and capricious under the Administrative Procedures Act (APA). They also argued that even though the statute might bar review, it does not bar review of the procedure used to reach such determination. The court ruled that it had jurisdiction over the case to review the process under which the Administration made the determination. It also ruled that the Plaintiffs may continue to sue the President in his official capacity until evidence in the case may show otherwise.
The court then moved to address the Administration’s Motion to dismiss several items in the complaint. It denied the Administration’s argument that it should dismiss the APA claim. The main reason behind the decision is that the Administration did not show that its departure from older procedures was warranted.
Also, the court ruled that the Administration violated the APA by not providing public notice. The APA required under such notice. Furthermore, the court dismissed the Defendants’ motion to dismiss the constitutional claims under the Equal Protection and Due Process clauses.
The court dismissed the motions to dismiss these counts. It reasoned that the Plaintiffs may be able to show that the President’s animus towards immigrants from Haiti was the primary reason for the policy. The court further ruled that Plaintiffs may show a violation of the Equal Protection Clause by proving discriminatory reason for the policy.
Finally, the court denied the Administration’s motion for a stay in the case since it did not show that such stay is warranted.
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