By Ted Hesson
WASHINGTON (Reuters) – A U.S. appeals court on Monday sided with President Donald Trump over his administration’s decision to end humanitarian protections for hundreds of thousands of immigrants, many of whom have lived in the United States for decades.
In a 2-1 ruling, a panel of three judges in the California-based 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals reversed a lower court decision that had blocked Trump’s move to phase out so-called Temporary Protected Status (TPS) for people from El Salvador, Haiti, Nicaragua and Sudan.
The ruling is also expected to affect the status of people from Honduras and Nepal, who filed a separate lawsuit that was suspended last year pending the outcome of the broader case.
The appeals court ruling means that those immigrants will be required to find another way to remain in the United States legally or depart after a wind-down period at least until early March and longer in the case of El Salvador.
An attorney with the American Civil Liberties Union of Southern California, which represents plaintiffs in the lawsuit, called the decision “deeply flawed” during a call with reporters, and said the case eventually could be appealed to the U.S. Supreme Court, depending on the outcome of the request for a broader appeals court review.
The termination of TPS for Haitians is also subject to separate litigation in the 2nd U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals in New York. The appeals court heard arguments in that case in