Trump’s ‘Shithole’ Remark Comes Back To Haunt Him In New Immigration Lawsuit

ANDREW CABALLERO-REYNOLDS/AFP

A group of immigrants whose Temporary Protected Status was revoked by President Trump, and their U.S. citizen children, filed a class action lawsuit against the Trump administration on Monday afternoon at the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of California.

Lawyers on the case tell TPM that the immigrant parents, many of whom have lived in the U.S. for decades, are challenging the abrupt cancelation of their status as arbitrary and a violation of their right to due process. They are also arguing, citing President Trump’s infamous “shithole” comment and other disparaging remarks about immigrants, that the administration’s decision was unconstitutionally based on racial animus.

Over the past several decades, the U.S. has granted Temporary Protected Status to hundreds of thousands of people from an array of countries that have been in crisis—whether from war, natural disaster, or severe economic strife. Since taking office, Trump has terminated those protections for immigrants from El Salvador, Haiti, Nicaragua and Sudan, putting thousands of long-time residents at risk of deportation.

The American Civil Liberties Union and the National Day Laborer Organizing Network (NDLON) are suing the Department of Homeland Security on behalf of a group of former TPS-holders now at risk of deportation and their U.S. citizen children who would be left behind.

As with many other lawsuits challenging Trump administration policies, the President’s own words have come back to haunt him. Specifically, the lawsuit cites Trump’s reported characterization of TPS-holders as hailing from “shithole countries” to argue that the decision “arises from the Trump Administration’s repeatedly-expressed racism toward non-white, non-European people from other countries.” The lawsuit also references Trump’s frequent recitation of the lyrics to the song “The Snake,” which the President employs as an allegory about welcoming dangerous immigrants and refugees into the country.

In February, a group of Haitian and Salvadoran immigrants filed the first lawsuit challenging the cancelation of TPS, arguing, like the case in California, that the administration’s decision was racially motivated. The California case is the first to challenge the termination of protections for immigrants from all four impacted countries, and the first filed on behalf of the more than 270,000 U.S. citizen children who have at least one parent with TPS, who the case argues would be irreparably harmed by their parents’ deportation.

Read the lawsuit here:

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