Waving the national flag of Haiti, students, activists and area politicians attend a unity rally on the steps of City Hall in downtown Newark, N.J., in support of immigrants on Jan. 18, 2018. (Spencer Platt/Getty Images)

The NAACP Legal Defense and Educational Fund filed a discrimination lawsuit Wednesday against the Department of Homeland Security for rescinding the Temporary Protected Status of nearly 60,000 Haitian immigrants.

According to an LDF press release, the suit alleges that the 2017 decision to remove the TPS of tens of thousands of Haitians displaced by the devastating 2010 earthquake violates their Fifth Amendment right to due process and equal protection. In addition, the LDF claims that DHS former Acting Secretary Elaine C. Duke and current DHS Secretary Kirstjen “Are Norwegians White?” Nielsen took “irrational and discriminatory government action” in revoking the protections.

Thanks in part to racist comments President Donald Trump made during a recent meeting with lawmakers on immigration, the LDF also says that it can show that the Trump administration clearly intended to discriminate against Haitians based on their race and ethnicity.

Sherrilyn Ifill, president and director-counsel of the LDF, says that the case is “simple”:

Our democracy rests on the bedrock principle that every person is equal before the law. Governmental decisions that target people based on racial discrimination violate our Constitution. The decision by the Department of Homeland Security to rescind TPS status for Haitian immigrants was infected by racial discrimination. Every step taken by the Department to reach this decision reveals that far from a rational and fact-based determination, this decision was driven by calculated, determined and intentional discrimination against Haitian immigrants.


As evidence of an intent to discriminate, the suit points to the Department of Homeland Security’s active seeking of crime data on Haitians with TPS and information on how many Haitians were receiving public benefits—data the LDF says “trades on false anti-Black stereotypes about criminality and exploitation of public benefits.” The hunt for this data also “suggests the effort to manufacture a public safety rationale” for the removal of the protections.

But the strongest evidence of an intent to discriminate comes straight from the shithole mouth of 45 himself.

The suit refers to Trump’s recent remarks disparaging immigrants from Haiti, El Salvador and African nations—comments he made in front of lawmakers during an official meeting to determine immigration policy. During the same meeting, Trump reportedly asked, “Why do we need more Haitians?”


The LDF also references Trump’s earlier comments that Haitians “all have AIDS.”

The president’s own words have been used against him to negate his administration’s policies before.

Earlier iterations of Trump’s travel restrictions, more widely referred to as the “Muslim ban,” were invalidated by federal courts in part because Trump explicitly and publicly called for a “Muslim ban.”


In total, 300,000 immigrants could be deported if their TPS protections aren’t upheld. According to the National Immigration Forum, those immigrants contribute an estimated $4.5 billion annually to the U.S. gross domestic product and, over the past decade, have contributed approximately $6.9 billion in Social Security and Medicare contributions.