CA Attorney General Becerra Leads Amicus Brief Defending Temporary Protected Status Holders

SACRAMENTO, Aug. 30, 2018 – California Attorney General Xavier Becerra today led an 18-state coalition in filing an amicus brief in Ramos v. Nielsen, supporting plaintiffs’ efforts to prevent the potential deportation of hundreds of thousands of people who hold Temporary Protected Status (TPS). In this case, plaintiffs seek a preliminary injunction blocking a new rule issued by the United States Department of Homeland Security (DHS) for purposes of determining whether to extend a country’s TPS designation. The plaintiffs allege that the resulting termination of TPS status for natives of El Salvador, Haiti, Nicaragua, and Sudan violate the due process rights of TPS holders and their children, and are discriminatory actions driven by President Trump’s racist views about TPS holders from Latin America and Africa.

“The holders of Temporary Protected Status have followed the rules and proven the value of TPS for America as it tries to be a stabilizing partner to troubled regions in the world,” said Attorney General Becerra. “We will not stand idly by as our neighbors and colleagues are ripped from their families. We will continue to fight for TPS holders, our public safety, and our thriving economy.”

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TPS protects individuals who are in the United States and whose home countries face armed conflict, natural disasters, or other crises that make the return of TPS holders to their home countries unsafe. Many TPS holders have lived here for a decade or more and have started families and businesses, bought homes, and significantly contributed to their communities.

Under the Trump Administration, DHS changed its long-standing practice of looking at the entirety of the conditions in a country when determining whether it is safe for TPS holders to return. Without any substantial explanation, DHS now argues that it can only look narrowly at the original condition in the home country that prompted its TPS designation when deciding whether to extend that designation. Such a practice would ignore other conditions that pose serious threats to the safety of TPS holders. The plaintiffs in this case allege that DHS enacted its new rule without following legal requirements.

The amicus brief argues that DHS’s new rule is contrary to the public interest and that it will harm the people of California in a number of ways, including its impact on:

  • Family members, including hundreds of thousands of U.S. citizen children, who will suffer trauma and hardship from unnecessary and forced separation;
  • The economy and the workforce, which are enriched by the employment, entrepreneurship and contributions of TPS holders;
  • Public revenues, which are enhanced by the taxes contributed by TPS holders, including an estimated $100 million alone in property taxes collected annually from Salvadoran homeowners with TPS;
  • Healthcare delivery, which will suffer from disruptions in care provided by TPS holders who work at child care facilities, nursing homes, and hospitals;
  • Public health, which will be hindered by the loss of employer-sponsored insurance for TPS holders and their families; and
  • Public safety, which will be damaged by making TPS holders less likely to report crime.

Attorney General Becerra led the filing of today’s brief along with Attorneys General from the District of Columbia and Massachusetts, who are joined by the following states: Connecticut, Delaware, Hawai’i, Illinois, Iowa, Maine, Maryland, Minnesota, New Mexico, New York, Oregon, Rhode Island, Vermont, Virginia, and Washington.

Attorney General Becerra is committed to protecting longtime residents with TPS. In June 2018, the Attorney General co-led a multistate amicus brief challenging DHS’s actions in Centro Presente v. Trump. In March 2018, as part of a coalition of 18 states and the District of Columbia, he urged Congress to grant TPS holders green cards, which would allow them to remain in the United States if their TPS status were terminated.

A copy of the amicus brief is available here.