A 14-year-old girl is suing the government over its immigration policy

During his time in office, President Donald Trump has assumed a rigid stance on immigration. He has attempted Muslim travel bans and has tried to end the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals program. Most recently, the government has ended Temporary Protected Status (TPS) for residents from certain countries. And those affected are fighting back with a lawsuit — led by a 14-year-old girl.

TPS is a form of humanitarian immigration relief granted to citizens of foreign countries who are already in the U.S. and can’t return home due to conditions like natural disasters, wars, or epidemics. TPS recipients can legally work in the U.S. and can’t be deported, but they cannot become U.S. citizens either. The Trump administration has ended TPS for several countries — including Nicaragua, El Salvador, South Sudan, and Nepal. On May 4th, Honduras was added to that list.

After the TPS status for these countries officially ends, hundreds of thousands of people from these countries will face deportation, some leaving behind family members who are U.S. citizens. But TPS recipients and their families are fighting back.

In an article published today, May 11th, Teen Vogue spoke withone 14-year-old U.S. citizen named Crista, whose mother is a TPS recipient, and who is the lead plaintiff in a lawsuit fighting these changes to TPS. Four other U.S. citizens and nine TPS recipients are also represented in the suit, which was filed on March 12th by the ACLU Foundation of Southern California, The National Day Laborer Organizing Network (NDLON), and law firm Sidley Austin LLP. Crista told Teen Vogue that “fear of deportation should not be a part of any child’s life.”

"They can’t be separating families or forcing us to choose to stay here or go back to live with our parents in their country," Crista told Teen Vogue, referring to the Trump administration. "If we do decide to stay here some of us will end up living with our relatives, friends, or in foster homes, but they will not treat us the same way as our parents."

The Trump administration has faced many legal challenges, such as federal courts blocking the repeal of DACA. So it still remains to be seen whether Crista and her fellow plaintiffs’ suit will be successful — or if more people will lose TPS benefits.  In the meantime, we stand by all TPS recipients in the fight to end hate.

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