By Alex Cordero
The preliminary injunction process for the lawsuit filed by TPS holders and their families challenging the Department of Homeland Security’s (DHS) new rule to terminate Temporary Protected Status (TPS) has set forth in the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of California.
DHS’s new rule enforces determinations to terminate TPS for the following countries: Sudan, Nicaragua, Haiti and El Salvador. However, the lawsuit prohibits DHS from executing the new rule while the case continues the legal process.
In the lawsuit the plaintiffs challenge the legality of DHS’s application of the new rule, claiming the changes of terminating TPS for the previously mentioned countries violate constitutional rights.
“Defendants’ new rule violates the constitutional rights of school-age United States citizen children of TPS holders, by presenting them with an impossible choice: they must either leave their country or live without their parents. It is well established that a U.S. citizen has an absolute right to reside in this country. It is equally well established that families have a fundamental right to live together without unwarranted government interference. The Secretary has not even considered the impact on U.S. citizen children of TPS holders, let alone advanced a valid reason for compelling them to make the impossible choice of forgoing one of these rights for the other,” reads part of the lawsuit.
This new policy caused hundreds of local residents to express their support for TPS holders involved in the lawsuit. On Wednesday, Aug. 14, as local TPS holders were scheduled to start their hearings, hundreds of local residents accompanied the plaintiffs by marching from All Saints Church all the way to the U.S. Court of Appeals in the City of Pasadena.
A press conference was held outside the courthouse and the daughter of Plaintiff Donaldo Posadas from Honduras said a few words while standing next to her father.
“My name is Genesis, I’m 10 years old. This guy here is my dad and I’m here because I want to keep my family together.”
WATCH: “This guy right here is my dad and I want to keep my family together.” – 10 year old Genesis, a plaintiff in the lawsuit to #ProtectTPS & daughter of @goiupat member.#AllOutForTPS pic.twitter.com/K0qQ8MqCaz
— Working Families United (@wfucoalition) August 14, 2019
Plaintiff Hiwaida Elarabi from Sudan was also part of the press conference. In her statement she shared that she has been a TPS holder for 22 years. She has been living in fear of deportation since 2017, when she first received the news that the Trump administration had terminated TPS status for many long-term TPS holders.
“The DHS has decided, with a stroke of a pen, to uphold the lives of hundreds and thousands of people.”
Emilou MacLean, one of the leading attorneys from the National Day Laborer Organizing Network, was in attendance and declared her purpose in the lawsuit,
“With this lawsuit they [TPS holders] have made clear that they will not accept quietly the illegal actions of this administration to thrust them into the shadows or make them vulnerable to deportation.”
Marching with plaintiffs and other powerful TPS holders to the 9th Circuit Court of Appeals to defend their right to remain in the United States. A challenge to Trump’s racism. And power to the people. #TPSJustice .@ahilan_toolong .@TPS_Alliance .@NDLON .@ACLU_SoCal pic.twitter.com/Qq1iHaxtV1
— Emi MacLean (@justicenlaughs) August 14, 2019
She concluded her statement with “We will continue to join together to demand that policy makers stand up and provide long term permanent protections for TPS holders. TPS holders are united and their strong and their fighting back!”
Congresswoman Judy Chu was also among the people who took this opportunity to address the hundreds of local marchers, “We cannot let this happen and that’s why we have to be heard, our voices have to be heard, we do not judge somebody’s value based on where they were born!”
According the National TPS Alliance (nationaltpsalliance.org/tps-lawsuit) over 400,000 people obtain legal residency in the U.S. under TPS and there are over 200,000 U.S. citizen children of TPS holders. If the court rules to reverse the preliminary injunction, the termination of TPS designated for these four countries will take effect and the decision will be final. The latest update of the court case describes the impact of stopping TPS terminations at uscis.gov/update-ramos-v-nielsen.