Case Over Immigrants’ Temporary Status Cites US Citizen Kids

By Laura D. Francis

The Trump administration is facing yet another lawsuit over its decision to end temporary protected status for foreign nationals of certain countries.

The lawsuit expected to be filed in federal district court in California March 12 challenges the Department of Homeland Security’s termination of TPS for nationals of El Salvador, Haiti, Nicaragua, and Sudan. Like two other lawsuits filed already in federal district court, the case cites President Donald Trump’s reported comment about Haiti and African nations being “shithole countries” as a basis for claiming that the decision was racially discriminatory.

But unlike the other cases, it’s the first to challenge all four TPS termination decisions under the Trump administration. It’s also the first to be filed on behalf of the children of TPS recipients.

TPS provides temporary status and work permits to the nationals of countries affected by natural disasters and other conditions that make returning to their home countries unsafe.

The DHS doesn’t comment on pending litigation as a matter of policy, agency spokesman Tyler Houlton told Bloomberg Law March 12.

Rights of U.S. Citizens

Prior lawsuits filed by the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People and the Lawyers’ Committee for Civil Rights and Economic Justice and Centro Presente also argue that the administration’s real reason for ending TPS is because of racist views toward blacks and Hispanics.

The latest lawsuit, filed by the ACLU Foundation of Southern California, the National Day Laborer Organizing Network, and the Sidley Austin law firm, makes the same argument, but it also claims the decision violates the constitutional rights of U.S. citizen children by forcing them to live without their parents or leave the country.

It also argues that the administration’s “sudden and unexplained departure” from years of TPS decision-making renders its actions arbitrary and unreasonable.

The ACLU is representing nine TPS holders and five U.S. citizen children of TPS holders. They belong to various groups that also are working to preserve TPS, including the National TPS Alliance, CARECEN-Los Angeles, the International Union of Painters and Allied Trades, UNITE-HERE, and African Communities Together.

The case is Ramos v. Nielsen, N.D. Cal., docket number unavailable, complaint filed 3/12/18.