Attorney General Peter F. Kilmartin joined an 18-state coalition in filing an amicus brief in Ramos v. Nielsen, supporting plaintiffs' efforts to prevent the potential deportation of hundreds of thousands of people who hold Temporary Protected Status (TPS).
In this case, plaintiffs seek a preliminary injunction blocking a new rule issued by the United States Department of Homeland Security (DHS) for purposes of determining whether to extend a country's TPS designation. The plaintiffs allege that the resulting termination of TPS status for natives of El Salvador, Haiti, Nicaragua, and Sudan violate the due process rights of TPS holders and their children, and are discriminatory actions driven by racism.
"The individuals who came to the United States under the TPS program did so legally, often fleeing their native countries out of fear of death or unwarranted imprisonment by dictator regimes. Since then, they have become part of our communities - working, owning homes, and starting families. To send them back, when there is absolute evidence they would be deported to unsafe and unstable countries, is arbitrary and cruel," said Attorney General Kilmartin. "These individuals should be allowed to stay in the United States and set out the path of citizenship, where they can continue to contribute to our economy and our cultural fabric."
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.
The Department of Homeland Security recently 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 now argues that it can only look narrowly at the original condition in the home country that prompted its TPS designation when deciding whether to extend that designation. Such a practice would ignore other conditions that pose serious threats to the safety of TPS holders. The plaintiffs in this case allege that DHS enacted its new rule without following legal requirements.
The amicus brief argues that DHS's new rule is contrary to the public interest and that it will harm the people of Rhode Island 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; • Healthcare delivery, which will suffer from disruptions in care provided by TPS holders who work at child care facilities, nursing homes, and hospitals; • 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 TPS holders less likely to report crime.
Attorney General Kilmartin joined today's brief along with attorneys general from California, the District of Columbia Massachusetts, Connecticut, Delaware, Hawai'i, Illinois, Iowa, Maine, Maryland, Minnesota, New Mexico, New York, Oregon, Vermont, Virginia, and Washington.