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NAACP Sues Trump Administration Over Ending Protected Status For Haitians

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 “Our democracy rests on the bedrock principle that every person is equal before the law”

The NAACP is suing the Department of Homeland Security after its decision to cancel Temporary Protected Status (TPS) for approximately 60,000 Haitians currently protected under the program, on the grounds that this decision marks ‘an egregious departure from the TPS statute’s requirements and an intent to discriminate on the basis of race.’

The NAACP said that the suspension of the program “discriminates against immigrants of color” and violates protections of due process and equal protection under the Fifth Amendment.

Excerpts from relevant media reports follow:

The Hill: NAACP sues DHS over protections for Haitian immigrants By Rebecca Savransky

The president and CEO of the NAACP said that the action by DHS was “clearly racially motivated.”

“The U.S. Constitution prohibits singling out certain immigrants for harsh treatment based on their skin color and/or ethnicity.  But more than that, basic fairness militates against this draconian action taken by DHS under the direction of President Trump,” Derrick Johnson said. 

Miami Herald: NAACP sues Homeland Security on behalf of Haitians, cites Trump’s ‘public hostility’ By Jacqueline Charles

“The administration’s efforts to gather this data on Haitian TPS recipients trades on false anti-Black stereotypes about criminality and exploitation of public benefits, and suggests the effort to manufacture a public safety rationale” for the decision, the lawsuit alleges.

The suit also argues that as president, Trump has articulated his antipathy toward Haitians on several occasions including during a June Oval Office meeting where he reportedly lamented that 15,000 Haitians who had received visas to enter the United States “all have AIDS.” 

NBC: NAACP files lawsuit over Trump administration plan to end protections for Haitians By Phil Helsel

“The decision by the Department of Homeland Security to rescind TPS status for Haitian immigrants was infected by racial discrimination,” Sherrilyn Ifill, president and director-counsel of the NAACP Legal Defense & Educational Fund, Inc., said in a statement.