Boston, MA – A group of Haitian and Salvadoran TPS holders are suing the Trump Administration on the grounds that Trump’s decision to terminate TPS is illegally driven by racial discrimination. Two Massachusetts-based immigrant advocacy groups, the Lawyers’ Committee for Civil Rights and Economic Justice and Centro Presente, are filing the lawsuit.
Highlights from key media reports on the lawsuit follow:
By Alanna Durkin Richer
The lawsuit filed in federal court in Boston seeks to block the administration from terminating temporary protective status for thousands of immigrants from Haiti and El Salvador. It claims Trump’s move to rescind the program was rooted in animus against immigrants of color, citing comments made by Trump on the campaign trial and in office.
“Many of the plaintiffs have lived in the United States for decades,” said Patricia Montes, executive director of Centro Presente, a Massachusetts-based Latin American immigrant organization that’s also a plaintiff in the case. “If TPS is terminated, they are at risk of losing everything — the homes and the businesses they have built, the families they have raised and the money they have invested into their communities,” she said in a statement.
By Jacqueline Charles
Juan Carlos Vidal, 35, a Salvadoran businessman who is among the plaintiffs in the lawsuit, said he wants to save TPS for himself and his family. A TPS recipient since 2001, Vidal lives in Revere, Mass., and worked his way up from kitchen assistant to chef at a restaurant before opening four restaurants of his own in the Boston area. He employs more than 20 U.S. citizens, his lawyers say.
“I feel attacked,” Vidal said during a call with reporters. “I feel discriminated because I know I contribute to the nation’s economy and the president doesn’t respect or value my contributions.”
By Shira Schoenberg
“The president has made no secret of his racist views,” said Ivan Espinoza-Madrigal, executive director of the Lawyers’ Committee in a statement. “The administration’s decision to terminate TPS for El Salvador and Haiti manifests these discriminatory views.”
By Shannon Dooling
Gov. Charlie Baker has expressed his support for extending TPS for Haitians, Salvadorans and Hondurans.
In a letter addressed to then-Acting U.S. Homeland Security Secretary Elaine Duke, Baker wrote, in part: “I urge you to recognize the unsuitability of ordering tens of thousands of Haitians, Salvadorans and Hondurans now in the United States to return to homelands that are in crisis and that will be at risk of becoming further destabilized by a sudden influx of TPS nationals.”