Eight Haitian and Salvadoran immigrants filed a lawsuit against the Trump administration on Thursday, claiming racism and discrimination were driving his decision to end the Temporary Protected Status program, also known as TPS. The lawsuit, filed by a Boston-based legal nonprofit, seeks to halt Trump’s attempt to end the program, which serves more than 240,000 Salvadorans and nearly 100,000 Haitians.
Under the president’s plan, those immigrants —who were granted protected status because of unsafe conditions in their home countries— would have to leave the U.S. by summer 2019. The plaintiffs cite tearing families apart and significantly decreasing tax revenue as some of the consequences of ending TPS. “Termination of TPS for El Salvador and Haiti would wreak havoc on the lives of hundreds of thousands of people,” the lawsuit states.
HEADLINES FROM THE WESTERN HEMISPHERE
During a roundtable about gun violence Thursday, President Donald Trump threatened to pull Immigration and Customs Enforcement agents from California as punishment for the state’s “lousy management job” and “protection of horrible criminals.” Tensions between the Republican president and California governor Jerry Brown, a Democrat, have increased since California became a “sanctuary state” last year.
The governor of Puerto Rico announced Thursday that D.C.-based George Washington University will conduct a comprehensive, independent review of the deaths in Puerto Rico that are directly or indirectly related to Hurricane Maria. Although the official death toll remains at 64, reports from news sources and critics suggest that the toll is much higher.
Haiti has temporarily suspended Oxfam Great Britain from operating in the country pending an investigation into sexual misconduct committed by charity employees. The suspension is expected to last two months and follows Oxfam Chief Executive Mark Goldring’s public apology on Sunday, in which he vowed to double Oxfam’s safeguarding team.
Anti-LGBT discrimination and violence have been on the rise in Costa Rica since the first round of the country’s presidential elections earlier this month, according to local human rights groups. Frontrunner Fabricio Alvarado Muñoz, an evangelical singer, has vocally denounced the legalization of same-sex marriage, bringing the issue to the forefront of the political debate.
Retired colonel Hugo Aguilar, the cop who led the team that killed Colombian drug lord Pablo Escobar, was arrested yesterday on charges of illicit enrichment and money laundering. Aguilar, a former governor who from 2011 to 2015 served time in prison for his ties with right-wing paramilitary groups, had claimed he had no resources to compensate the victims. The authorities now accuse him of hiding a fortune of over $5.2 million.
Massive rallies were held in Bolivia yesterday in support and in opposition to President Evo Morales’ third bid for the presidency. Voters had rejected that possibility in a 2016 referendum, but the Constitutional Court a year later ruled in favor of it on the basis that the limit would impinge on the rights of current authorities to run for office.
Argentina is relaxing its immigration application timeline to make it easier for Venezuelans who have trouble obtaining their paperwork from their country. Migration from Venezuela to Argentina has increased exponentially, going from about 1,500 residencies granted in 2011 to more than 31,000 last year.
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