SACRAMENTO – California Attorney General Xavier Becerra today joined the Commonwealth of Massachusetts and the District of Columbia in leading a multistate amicus brief in support of plaintiffs in Centro Presente et al., v. Trump et al. In this case, before the U.S. District Court for the District of Massachusetts, plaintiffs challenged the United States Department of Homeland Security’s (DHS) recent action relating to Temporary Protected Status (TPS). This humanitarian program provides legal status and work authorization to people whose countries of origin are unsafe and cannot handle their return.
“Many TPS holders are our neighbors and colleagues who contribute to America and our economy every day. Our nation would be poorer without them,” said Attorney General Becerra. “Studies show that their ability to stay here and contribute is beneficial for not only these individuals, but also the communities where they work, study, and live. We are prepared to challenge any action that would undermine our state’s economic well-being and progress.”
DHS’s recent terminations of TPS for nationals of El Salvador, Honduras, Haiti, Sudan, Nicaragua and Nepal will leave hundreds of thousands of current TPS holders without legal status and facing deportation.
The brief points out that, given the length of residence, economic contributions and family ties of the plaintiffs and class members, preventing TPS holders from obtaining green cards—combined with DHS’s termination of TPS virtually across the board—causes harm to our state’s economy, its residents, and TPS holders’ employers. The vast majority of TPS holders are employed. In California alone, it is estimated that $2.7 billion would be lost from the State’s GDP annually without TPS holders from El Salvador, Honduras, and Haiti – three of the six countries where political conflict, environmental disasters, or other circumstances continue to jeopardize the safety of these individuals should they be forced to return.
In the brief, the amici states contend that plaintiffs’ allegations that the federal government’s termination of TPS was driven by discrimination and is therefore unconstitutional can be reviewed by a court. The amici states also argue that the federal government’s legal interpretation of the evidence it may consider when removing a nation from the list of countries designated for TPS is reviewable.
In this brief, California, Massachusetts and the District of Columbia are joined by the following states: Connecticut, Delaware, Iowa, Maine, Maryland, Minnesota, New Jersey, New Mexico, New York, Oregon, Rhode Island, Vermont, Virginia, and Washington.
Attorney General Becerra is committed to protecting longtime residents with TPS. In March 2018, as part of a coalition of 18 states and the District of Columbia, Attorney General Becerra called on congressional leaders to protect long-time residents of the United States from being forced to return to dangerous or uncertain conditions in El Salvador, Honduras, Haiti, and other countries. In that letter, Attorney General Becerra and the coalition of state attorneys general urged Congress to pass a bill allowing all current TPS recipients to receive green cards.
A copy of the brief is attached to the electronic version of this release here.