Crista Ramos v. Chad Wolf

FOR PUBLICATION UNITED STATES COURT OF APPEALS FOR THE NINTH CIRCUIT CRISTA RAMOS; CRISTINA MORALES; No. 18-16981 BENJAMIN ZEPEDA; ORLANDO ZEPEDA; JUAN EDUARDO AYALA D.C. No. FLORES; ELSY YOLANDA FLORES DE 3:18-cv-01554- AYALA; MARIA JOSE AYALA FLORES; EMC HNAIDA CENEMAT; WILNA DESTIN; RILYA SALARY; SHERIKA BLANC; IMARA AMPIE; MAZIN AHMED; OPINION HIWAIDA ELARABI, Plaintiffs-Appellees, v. CHAD F. WOLF, Acting Secretary of Homeland Security; KENNETH T. CUCCINELLI, Senior Official Performing the Duties of the Deputy Secretary of Homeland Security; U.S. DEPARTMENT OF HOMELAND SECURITY; UNITED STATES OF AMERICA, Defendants-Appellants. Appeal from the United States District Court for the Northern District of California Edward M. Chen, District Judge, Presiding Argued and Submitted August 14, 2019 Submission Vacated August 21, 2019 2 RAMOS V. WOLF Resubmitted September 4, 2020 Pasadena, California Filed September 14, 2020 Before: Consuelo M. Callahan, Morgan Christen, and Ryan D. Nelson, Circuit Judges. Opinion by Judge Callahan; Concurrence by Judge R. Nelson; Dissent by Judge Christen SUMMARY * Immigration /Preliminary Injunction The panel vacated a preliminary injunction barring implementation of decisions to terminate Temporary Protected Status (TPS) designations of Sudan, Nicaragua, Haiti, and El Salvador, and remanded, holding that: (1) judicial review of Plaintiffs’ claim under the Administrative Procedure Act (APA) is barred by 8 U.S.C. § 1254a(b)(5)(A); and (2) Plaintiffs failed to show a likelihood of success, or even serious questions, on the merits of their Equal Protection claim. The TPS program is a congressionally created humanitarian program administered by the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) that provides temporary relief to * This summary constitutes no part of the opinion of the court. It has been prepared by court staff for the convenience of the reader. RAMOS V. WOLF 3 nationals of designated foreign countries that have been stricken by a natural disaster, armed conflict, or other “extraordinary and temporary conditions in the foreign state.” 8 U.S.C. § 1254a(b). In 2017 and 2018, Secretaries of DHS under the Trump Administration terminated the TPS designations of the four countries. Plaintiffs, who are TPS beneficiaries from these countries and their children, challenged the terminations on two grounds. First, Plaintiffs alleged that DHS justified the terminations with a novel interpretation of the TPS statute that rejected, without explanation, a decades-old agency policy and practice of considering “intervening natural disasters, conflicts, and other serious social and economic problems as relevant factors when deciding whether to continue or instead terminate a TPS designation.” Second, Plaintiffs alleged that DHS’s new rule was motivated in significant part by racial and national-origin animus against “non-white and non-European immigrants,” which was “evidenced by numerous statements made by President Donald J. Trump and other officials.” The district court entered a preliminary injunction barring implementation of the termination decisions, concluding that the balance of hardships weighed in Plaintiffs’ favor and that, under the applicable “sliding scale” preliminary injunction standard, Plaintiffs had established serious questions on the merits of both their claims. First, the panel held that the district court abused its discretion in issuing the preliminary injunction when it ...

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