The ACLU Foundation of Southern California, with the National Day Laborer Organizing Network (NDLON) and the law firm of Sidley Austin LLP, filed a lawsuit in federal court on behalf of nine people with Temporary Protected Status (TPS) and five United States citizen children of TPS holders against the Department of Homeland Security to stop the unlawful termination of TPS for more than 200,000 people living in the U.S. and to protect the tens of thousands of U.S. citizen children whose parents would be forced to leave under the administration's policy.

The Trump administration adopted a new, far narrower interpretation of the federal law governing TPS, and then used that interpretation to terminate TPS status for all individuals from El Salvador, Haiti, Nicaragua, and Sudan.

The complaint also argues that the administration's restrictive view of the TPS laws was unconstitutional as it was adopted to further the administration's anti-immigrant, white supremacist agenda. Earlier this year, during a negotiation over the fate of people who have TPS status, Trump referred to the affected nations as "shithole countries."

The plaintiffs are members of diverse organizations fighting to defend TPS, including the National TPS Alliance, CARECEN-Los Angeles, the International Union of Painters and Allied Trades (IUPAT), UNITE-HERE, and African Communities Together.

Their lawsuit is the first to challenge the TPS terminations on behalf of the American children of TPS holders, and the first to challenge all four of the TPS terminations that have taken place under the Trump administration.

Case developments

March 12, 2018
ACLU SoCal and partners filed the complaint in US District Court, Northern District of California. Read the class action complaint.


Ahilan Arulanantham, Jennifer Poon, Emilou MacLean, Jessica Karp Bansal, Mark E. Haddad, Alycia A. Degen, Sean A. Commons

Date filed

March 12, 2018


United States District Court, Northern District of California



Case number


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