A.G. Underwood, Fellow AGs To Trump Administration: Protect Longtime U.S. Residents From Deportation

News from the New York Attorney General's Office

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE 
June 22, 2018

Attorney General's Office Press Office / 212-416-8060 
nyag.pressoffice@ag.ny.gov

A.G. UNDERWOOD, FELLOW AGs TO TRUMP ADMINISTRATION: PROTECT LONGTIME U.S. RESIDENTS FROM DEPORTATION

AG Underwood: This Office Will Continue to Use Every Tool Available to Protect New Yorkers

NEW YORK – Attorney General Barbara D. Underwood – part of a coalition of 17 Attorneys General -- filed an amicus brief today supporting litigation to halt the Trump administration’s termination of Temporary Protected Status (TPS) for long-time U.S. residents originally from El Salvador, Haiti, and Honduras. The expected termination of protective status for these countries in 2019 has put long-time U.S. residents in danger of deportation to countries that are unsafe and unprepared to receive them.

“These long-time New Yorkers have enriched our economy and our communities. The Trump administration is jeopardizing their safety and wellbeing by stripping away their protective status,” said Attorney General Underwood. “We will continue to do everything we can to protect New York’s immigrant communities.”

In the case Centro Presente v. Trump, the plaintiffs, which include membership organizations Centro Presente and Haitian-Americans United Inc. and a group of 14 individuals, have called for judicial review of the Department of Homeland Security’s (DHS) termination of TPS. The plaintiffs argue that judicial review would serve as an important check on executive action they allege is unconstitutional and unlawful, and would prevent harm to hundreds of thousands of TPS holders who reside in the United States, their families, and their communities. Today’s amicus brief, filed in U.S. District Court for the District of Massachusetts, supports the plaintiff’s call and asks the court to deny the defendants’ motion to dismiss.

According to the brief, the Department of Homeland Security’s termination of TPS would strip community members of legal authorization to work in the United States and could result in their deportation to countries that are unsafe and unprepared to receive them.

The brief states that TPS terminations will hurt the economy and civil society by:

  • Tearing apart thousands of families that live in “mixed-status households” where one or both parents hold TPS while some or all of the children are U.S. citizens.
  • Threatening state economies and workforces, costing a projected $160 billion in GDP, $6.9 billion in Social Security and Medicare contributions, and nearly $1 billion in employers’ turnover costs.
  • Disrupting care for vulnerable populations, such as children, seniors, and those with disabilities, who are dependent on child care facilities, nursing homes, home healthcare companies, and hospitals staffed largely by TPS holders.
  • Endangering public health; TPS holders who lose their authorization to work will lose their access to health care, thereby putting them at greater risk for disease and illness and increasing healthcare costs incurred by states.
  • Threatening public safety; TPS holders and their families will be less likely to report crimes.

Today’s brief argues the plaintiffs’ claims are subject to judicial review because TPS holders who believe their constitutional rights have been violated – along with institutions that can bring such claims – have a right to bring those claims before a court for review. The brief also notes that judicial review is appropriate because plaintiffs’ claims allege DHS’s practices and policies are unlawful, and because DHS’s termination of TPS will inflict serious harm on the public at large.

When conditions in a foreign country temporarily prevent the country’s nationals from returning safely, the DHS may designate TPS for nationals from that country who are present in the United States. Once designated, nationals may apply to live and work legally in the United States. After a period of 6 to 18 months, DHS must decide whether to extend the status. If TPS status is extended, TPS holders must reapply for the status and must meet strict recertification criteria, including that they remain law-abiding members of the community. 

Today’s filing was led by the Attorneys General of California, the District of Columbia, and Massachusetts. It was signed by the Attorneys General of New York, California, Connecticut, Delaware, District of Columbia, Iowa, Maine, Maryland, Massachusetts, Minnesota, New Jersey, New Mexico, Oregon, Rhode Island, Vermont, Virginia, and Washington.