TPS holders and their children vow to fight any future termination efforts


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Jose Palma, National TPS Alliance: 781.244.3357

FEBRUARY 27, 2024

TPS holders and their children vow to fight any future termination efforts

LOS ANGELES — Today, TPS holders and their U.S. citizen children announced the end to their six-year lawsuit, which succeeded in preventing the Trump administration from terminating humanitarian protected status for over 400,000 people, most of whom have lived lawfully in the U.S. for over 20 years. Plaintiffs filed in the U.S. District Court a notice officially closing the case on Monday. 

The plaintiffs in Ramos v. Mayorkas and a companion case, Bhattarai v. Mayorkas, challenged the Trump administration’s efforts in 2017 and 2018 to terminate Temporary Protected Status (TPS) for individuals from El Salvador, Haiti, Honduras, Nepal, Nicaragua, and Sudan. 

“I was in eighth grade when this started. Now, I’m in my second year of college, and dedicating myself to immigrant rights,” said Crista Ramos, lead plaintiff in the litigation and U.S. citizen daughter of a TPS holder. “We were motivated by deep love for our families and anger at clear injustice.”

The plaintiffs won a preliminary injunction in 2018, which protected the legal status of all TPS holders for the past five years. An appellate order reversing the injunction was vacated by the Ninth Circuit in 2023.

“Had it not been stopped, the Trump administration would have ended humanitarian protection for over 98% of all people who held this status at the time of the announced terminations,” said Emi MacLean, counsel for plaintiffs and senior staff attorney for the ACLU Foundation of Northern California. “Instead, not a single person lost TPS as a result of the Trump administration’s racist and illegal actions.”  

In June 2023, the Biden administration rescinded the Trump administration’s TPS terminations, and extended TPS for more than 300,000 TPS holders from El Salvador, Honduras, Nepal, and Nicaragua. Earlier, the Biden administration redesignated Haiti and Sudan for TPS.

On December 28, 2023, the federal district court dismissed Ramos as moot in light of the Biden administration’s “unequivocal” policy change which “fully addressed Plaintiffs’ objections by granting TPS status and/or rescinding the TPS terminations at issue.”

“The federal government told the court that the illegal conduct it perpetrated in 2017 and 2018 ‘will not be reinstated.’ The court relied on that statement, finding that it will not ‘revert to the previous administration’s contrary policy,’ as the government ‘has squarely rejected that policy,’” said Ahilan Arulanantham, counsel for plaintiffs and faculty co-director of the Center for Immigration Law and Policy at UCLA School of Law. “If the government goes back on its word, we will hold it accountable.”

Senior Trump advisors have been open about their plans to end TPS again should Trump receive a second term. TPS holders expressed strong unity and strength from all that they have achieved, and a commitment to defend themselves and their community again if needed. 

“We have learned so much through this journey and from each other. We will be ready to fight again if needed,” said Hiwaida Elarabi, a plaintiff from Sudan and a member leader in African Communities Together.

TPS holders have also made clear that their larger struggle cannot be won through litigation alone.

"As TPS recipients, we were told that we had six months to pack our bags and return to our countries,” said Jose Palma, a TPS holder and coordinator at the National TPS Alliance. “Organizing shoulder to shoulder, we fought to defend the TPS program and won. Though, we haven’t yet arrived at our destination of achieving permanent residency, we know solo el pueblo salva el pueblo.”

“Despite the dark and depressing moments at times, we found community by sticking together and fighting as a family, for all TPS holders in this country,” said Sajjan Pandey, a plaintiff and TPS holder from Nepal, and a member of Adhikaar. “Our fight has never been about only TPS; it is about immigration justice for all.”

“The Ramos litigation succeeded in averting a tremendous injustice. While the case has come to an end, the fight will continue until TPS holders and their families have the permanent protection they need and deserve,” said Jessica Bansal, counsel for plaintiffs and legal director of Unemployed Workers United

The plaintiffs are represented by the ACLU Foundations of Northern and Southern California, the Center for Immigration Law and Policy at UCLA School of Law, Unemployed Workers United, Asian Americans Advancing Justice – Asian Law Caucus, and the law firm Sidley Austin LLP. The coalition of organizations representing TPS holders includes the National TPS Alliance, Adhikaar, African Communities Together, Carecen Los Angeles, Haitian Bridge Alliance, and the National Day Laborer Organizing Network.

Read the notice here:

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