A federal judge in San Francisco, California has blocked U.S. President Donald Trump from ending temporary protections for some migrants living legally in the country, citing the president's own words in his decision.
The ruling affects hundreds of thousands of migrants from El Salvador, Haiti, Nicaragua and Sudan who are currently in the U.S. on what is known as Temporary Protected Status, or TPS, according to Politico.com.
District Judge Edward Chen issued a temporary injunction late Wednesday to halt the president's plan to end the protections for roughly 300,000 people, also ruling TPS beneficiaries must be allowed to work legally in the U.S. until legal proceedings conclude.
Chen, an appointee of former President Barack Obama, wrote in his order that Trump's plan to end TPS would result in "irreparable harm and great hardship" for those affected.
"Many have U.S.-born children; those may be faced with the Hobson's choice of bringing their children with them (and tearing them away from the only country and community they have known) or splitting their families apart," he wrote.
TPS protects individuals at risk from crises at home from being forced to return to those conditions. Recipients from Sudan were set to lose their protections on Nov. 2 and others next year. But Salvadorans make up the bulk of TPS recipients with some 263,000 living in the country under the program.
Trump has pursued a hardline crackdown on undocumented immigration since attaining America's highest office and has whittled down avenues for individuals to pursue immigration to the U.S. legally, including TPS.
In issuing his decision, Chen said evidence exists that suggests "President Trump harbors an animus against non-white, non-European aliens which influenced his ... decision to end the TPS designation,” according to The Associated Press.
Chen's ruling effectively means that the administration must continue TPS until legal challenges to its plan to terminate it have concluded.
The Justice Department slammed the ruling, saying it "usurps the role of the executive branch in our constitutional order".
"The Justice Department completely rejects the notion that the White House or the Department of Homeland Security did anything improper," spokesman Devin O’Malley said in a statement. "We will continue to fight for the integrity of our immigration laws and our national security."