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CA9 on TPS Injunction: Ramos v. Wolf (2-1)

September 14, 2020 (1 min read)

Ramos v. Wolf

"In 2017 and 2018, Secretaries of DHS under the Trump Administration terminated the TPS designations of four countries: Sudan, Nicaragua, Haiti, and El Salvador. Plaintiffs, who are TPS beneficiaries from these countries and their children, challenged the TPS termination decisions as unlawful under, inter alia, the Administrative Procedure Act (APA), 5 U.S.C. §§ 551 et seq., and the Equal Protection Clause (EPC) of the Fifth Amendment. The district court entered a preliminary injunction barring the implementation of the termination decisions. On appeal, the Government argues that the district court abused its discretion in issuing the injunction because Plaintiffs have not shown a likelihood of success on either of their claims. We agree. Based on our reading of the TPS statute, we hold that Plaintiffs’ APA claim is foreclosed from judicial review. We also conclude that Plaintiffs are unable to show a likelihood of success, or even serious questions going to the merits of their EPC claim. Accordingly, we reverse and vacate the preliminary injunction."

Christen, Circuit Judge, dissenting: "Our task on appeal is limited to deciding whether the district court abused its discretion when it granted preliminary injunctive relief. Unquestionably, it did not. Plaintiffs’ APA claim is collateral to the Secretary’s merits decisions, and we owe significant deference to the district court’s order granting preliminary injunctive relief. Accordingly, I would affirm the district court’s well-reasoned decision. ... The irreparable harm faced by plaintiffs—who include 300,000 non-citizens and 200,000 U.S. citizen children facing separation from their parents or their country—could hardly be more compelling. The district court also considered the public’s interest, including the integral role of TPS holders in national and local economies, the public’s interest in avoiding dividing families, and the harm to local communities. The court recognized that the government could not in good faith argue that it would suffer any concrete harm if TPS holders are allowed to remain in the United States pending resolution of this litigation because they have been lawfully present in the United States for many years. The district court did not abuse its discretion when it granted preliminary injunctive relief to preserve the status quo. I would affirm that order. Accordingly, I respectfully dissent."