Attorney General James Continues Efforts To Defend Temporary Protected Status Holders 

Files Amicus Brief in Support of TPS Recipients in U.S. Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit

NEW YORK – New York Attorney General Letitia James today announced joining a coalition of 22 Attorneys General in filing an amicus brief in Ramos v. Nielsen to prevent the potential deportation of hundreds of thousands of people who hold Temporary Protected Status (TPS). This brief asks the Ninth Circuit to uphold the preliminary nationwide injunction that plaintiffs obtained in the district court, blocking the U.S. Department of Homeland Security (DHS) from terminating TPS designations for Haiti, El Salvador, Nicaragua, and Sudan. 

“Immigrant New Yorkers are critical to the economic and cultural strength of our state,” said Attorney General Letitia James. “The Trump Administration continues to take away the vital protections for these communities, and as a result, is putting their safety and wellbeing at risk. My office will continue to use every resource at our disposal to protect New York’s vast immigrant communities.” 

TPS protects individuals who are in the United States and whose home countries face armed conflict, natural disasters, or other crises that make the return of TPS holders to their home countries unsafe. Many TPS holders have lived here for a decade or more and have started families and businesses, bought homes, and significantly contributed to their communities. 

Under the Trump Administration, DHS changed its long-standing practice of looking at the entirety of the conditions in a country when determining whether it is safe for TPS holders to return. Without any substantial explanation, DHS argued that it can only look at the original condition in the home country that prompted its TPS designation when deciding whether to extend that designation. This new policy ignores other intervening conditions that pose serious threats to the safety of TPS holders. The plaintiffs in this case alleged that DHS enacted its new rule without following legal requirements; the district court agreed and stopped DHS from implementing the new policy pending the final outcome of the case. 

The amicus brief notes that DHS’s new rule is contrary to the public interest and will harm the people of New York and other states in a number of ways, including its impact on: 

  • Family members, including hundreds of thousands of U.S. citizen children, who will suffer trauma and hardship from unnecessary and forced separation; 
  • The economy and the workforce, which are enriched by the employment, entrepreneurship and contributions of TPS holders; 
  • Public revenues, which are enhanced by the taxes contributed by TPS holders, including an estimated $100 million in property taxes collected annually from Salvadoran homeowners with TPS alone; 
  • Health and child care delivery, which will suffer from disruptions in care provided by TPS holders who work at child care facilities, nursing homes, and hospitals, as well as provide in-home care; 
  • Public health, which will be hindered by the loss of employer-sponsored insurance for TPS holders and their families; and 
  • Public safety, which will be damaged by making former TPS holders less likely to report crime. 

In the brief, the states also argue that the district court’s decision to enter the preliminary injunction on a nationwide basis was correct, based on the substantial evidence the court had before it regarding the national impact of the federal government’s decisions to rescind TPS designations. 

Attorney General James joined the filing of this brief along with Attorneys General from California, Connecticut, Delaware, Hawai’i, Illinois, Iowa, Maine, Maryland, Massachusetts, Michigan, Minnesota, Nevada, New Jersey, New Mexico, North Carolina, Oregon, Rhode Island, Vermont, Virginia, Washington, and the District of Columbia. 

A copy of the amicus brief is available here