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April 27, 2020

In the midst of the pandemic, TPS Alliance reaffirms its call for permanent residency for TPS families

(TPS holders working in healthcare available for interview.)

Last week, the legal team in the federal lawsuit Ramos v. Nielsen filed a 28J letter highlighting the high number of TPS beneficiaries carrying out essential functions during the coronavirus pandemic. The letter provides additional weight for the district court’s conclusion that enjoining TPS termination is in the public interest.

“In this moment, when perhaps our labor is being recognized, when our essential work is being seen, we would hope that our lives and our humanity are also seen. Because when we are needed, we’ve been there, often doing dangerous jobs, risking our own health” said William Martinez, national spokesperson for the TPS Alliance.

The Trump administration has appealed their loss at the district court and to date is still trying to strip nearly half a million TPS recipients of their legal status. “The pandemic has made it clearer than ever that we are all in this together. TPS holders are helping to keep everyone who lives in this country safe in this difficult time. They deserve to stay,” said Ahilan Arulananthan, senior counsel at the ACLU of Southern California.

The letter cites a recent report that found more than 130,000 TPS beneficiaries work in home healthcare, food processors, grocery stores, manufacturing and other essential jobs, exposing themselves to the risk of infection. (Read the report from Center for American Progress here).

The letter, available online here, reads in part:

… more than 100,000 TPS holders work in industries deemed “essential critical infrastructure” by the Department of Homeland Security, including more than 11,000 healthcare workers and more than 76,000 food-related workers.

…Because TPS holders constitute significant portions of the essential work force in the limited businesses still operating during the pandemic, the district court’s finding has particular force during this difficult moment in our nation’s history.

“We hope that we could count on our leaders to do the right thing. Today, that means permanent residency for our TPS families,” added Martinez.

About the lawsuit:

On October 3, 2018, the federal court in Ramos v. Nielsen ordered a preliminary injunction blocking Donald Trump’s termination of TPS status for individuals from four countries – El Salvador, Hait, Sudan, and Nicaragua. Five months later, a separate case Bhattarai v. DHS covered two additional countries, Nepal and Honduras.

Plaintiffs in Ramos are represented by the ACLU Foundation of Southern California, the National Day Laborer Organizing Network (NDLON), and the law firm of Sidley Austin LLP; Asian Americans Advancing Justice also represents plaintiffs in the related case of Bhattarai.

The plaintiffs in both cases are members of the National TPS Alliance, and various organizations fighting for TPS justice, including CARECEN-Los Angeles, African Communities Together, Working Families United, UNITE-HERE, the International Union of Painters and Allied Trades, Adhikaar, and the Haitian Bridge Alliance.

More information about the lawsuit available at:

Full Letter available at: