On August 14, at the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals, TPS holders defended the preliminary injunction which prevents the government from terminating their humanitarian legal status. The Ninth Circuit considered the Trump Administration’s challenge to a district court order which halted the terminations of TPS for El Salvador, Haiti, Nicaragua, and Sudan. After the filing of a related case, the government extended the same protections to TPS-holders from Honduras and Nepal.
“We are hopeful the court will respect the rights of the more than 400,000 TPS holders and their American children, many of whom are still in school. They too are entitled to the Constitution’s protections.” said Ahilan Arulanantham, senior counsel at the ACLU of Southern California, who argued the case.
“I have two kids who are U.S. citizens. It’s me who helps them be successful or not, if they do their homework or not. My daughter wants to be an OB-GYN. It’s my job to help her and tell her she can do anything. What is my option? Right now I see I can either help them or be separated from them,” said Wilna Destin, a TPS holder from Haiti and UNITE HERE union organizer, who is a plaintiff in the case.
Over 400,000 TPS holders are protected by the preliminary injunction. Most have lived in the United States for more than 20 years and many have U.S. citizen children and family here.
Crista Ramos, a 15-year-old high school student and the lead plaintiff in the case said, “I only learned about TPS when the president tried to end it for my mom. But as the child of a TPS holder, I didn’t think twice about standing up to the president to defend my mom and our family.”
“This lawsuit challenges the unlawful and discriminatory terminations of legal status for over 400,000 people,” said Emi MacLean, legal director of the National Day Laborer Organizing Network. “It also confronts the Trump Administration’s attempt to dismantle a decades-old congressionally mandated program providing humanitarian protection.”
“I know that this has been a long, hard fight to get to this place, and I am feeling motivated to keep going – for myself and the thousands of other Nepalis with TPS like me,” said Keshav Bhattarai, lead plaintiff in a related case, Bhattarai v. Nielsen, which challenges the TPS terminations for Nepal and Honduras.
“We’re fighting to stay together so that I can continue to provide for my children and see them achieve their dreams. As a union member, we know that we’re all equal and we fight for everyone to have the same rights. That includes the right of my family to stay together,” said Donaldo Posadas, a TPS holder from Honduras and member of the International Union of Painters and Allied Trades who is also a plaintiff in the Bhattarai case.
Hundreds of TPS holders, their families, union members, and supporters marched to the courthouse to defend the rights of those with TPS and urge congressional action to grant permanent protections to TPS holders.
The plaintiffs in Ramos v. Nielsen are represented by the ACLU Foundation of Southern California, NDLON, and the law firm of Sidley Austin LLP; Asian Americans Advancing Justice also represents plaintiffs in the related case of Bhattarai v. DHS. The plaintiffs in Ramos and Bhattarai are members of diverse organizations fighting to defend TPS, including the National TPS Alliance, CARECEN-Los Angeles, African Communities Together, Working Families United, UNITE-HERE, International Union of Painters and Allied Trades, Adhikaar and Haitian Bridge Alliance.