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ICYMI: Ramos v. Nielsen Hearing Highlights Urgency To Protect TPS Holders From Deportation, Family Separation

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The Court’s Possible Revocation of Injunction Could Remove Protections for Hundreds of Thousands of Immigrants

Yesterday Temporary Protected Status (TPS) holders, their children, organizers, and immigration advocates rallied across the nation and at the U.S. Court of Appeals in Pasadena, CA to decry the Trump administration’s attempts to terminate TPS for over 300,000 people.

TPS holder-plaintiffs in the case Ramos v. Nielsen, which include U.S. citizen children, attended a hearing where the administration’s racism and hatred for immigrants was on full display as it argued against an injunction keeping the TPS terminations at bay and in favor of moving forward with their plan to separate families and strip immigrants of their immigration status, which some have held for decades.

If the appeals court judges rule in favor of the Trump administration, TPS holders could be forcibly deported to unstable countries, separated from their families and stripped of their jobs, homes, and communities here in the U.S. 

This is why Congress must take responsibility and pass the Dream and Promise Act to enact permanent protections for TPS holders and immigrant youth.

In her reporting, Gwen Aviles of NBC News highlighted the urgent fight of U.S. citizen children to protect their families from separation:  

The lead plaintiff in Ramos vs. Nielsen is Crista Ramos, who is 15 and a high school student.

“I only learned about TPS when the president tried to end it for my mom,” she said in a statement. “But as a child of a TPS holder, I didn’t think twice about standing up to the president to defend my mom and our family.”

Ramos, who wants to be attorney someday, is worried that her mother, who is from El Salvador, will lose her legal immigration status if TPS protections are ended for Salvadorans, despite the dangerous conditions in the country. Her mother has been a TPS holder for 17 years and has lived in the U.S. for the last 26 years.

… More than 270,000 U.S. citizen children have at least one parent with TPS. Advocates argue that terminating TPS designations for such parents puts children in an “impossible” situation by forcing them to either leave their home country or live without their parents.

… The majority of the case’s plaintiffs have lived in the U.S. for decades and have built a life, paid taxes and helped build up their communities, advocates argue.

To be eligible for TPS, individuals must meet stringent requirements, including continued residence in the United States, lack of disqualifying criminal history and submission of extensive documentation, an application and fees.

… “We’re fighting to stay together so that I can continue to provide for my children and see them achieve their dreams,” said Donaldo Posadas, a TPS holder from Honduras, in a statement.

Claire Ricke at Spectrum 1 News covered the Pasadena rally reporting:

Hundreds of immigrants marched to the U.S. Court of Appeals on Wednesday, which is the day the court will hear a challenge from the Trump administration on terminating the status of 300,000 immigrants.

The Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals will review a challenge by President Donald Trump’s Office to terminate Temporary Protected Status for thousands of immigrants from El Salvador, Haiti, Nicaragua, and Sudan.

On the east coast, Diamond Naga Siu at the Boston Globe highlighted a rally in Boston:

Karla Morales Villalobo, 22, aspires to be a doctor in the United States and is in her last year pursuing a biology degree at the University of Massachusetts Boston, but her plans might be foiled under President Trump’s administration.

Morales Villalobo came to the United States seeking asylum from El Salvador with her family when she was 3 years old and is at risk of losing her Temporary Protected Status under a new policy reversal.

… The Trump administration wants to revoke that status for those from El Salvador, Haiti, Nicaragua, and Syria, which would affect 300,000 immigrants, including more than 12,000 in Massachusetts.

… Jose Reina, 51, who received Temporary Protected Status after the 2001 El Salvador earthquake, likened the idea of being sent back there to a death sentence.

“They know that you are there from the United States, so the first thing . . . when you return there is to extort you,” Reina said in Spanish through a translator.

“And if you resist paying that, they can kill you or kill a family member.”

Jose Palma, 42, agreed. He came to the United States from El Salvador in 1998 after his family lost everything during the civil war. But after building a life and establishing roots in Massachusetts for 22 years — a proud Lynner, he jokes — Palma is scared of losing everything again if his Temporary Protection Status is revoked and he is deported.

“If I lose my TPS after so many years of building a life in Massachusetts, everything will fall apart,” said Palma, who flew to the Pasadena rally.

“All those dreams will be destroyed — not only my dreams but the dreams of my kids.”