Under the agreement, 100,000 TPS holders would maintain their status pending the outcome
San Francisco, CA — Today, the parties in Bhattarai v. Nielsen, a case challenging the termination of temporary protected status (TPS) for people from Nepal and Honduras, asked the Court to enter an order temporarily halting termination of TPS for people from those countries.
Under the agreement, TPS for Nepal and Honduras — slated to end on June 24, 2019 and January 5, 2020, respectively — would remain in place at least until the appeal in Ramos v. Nielsen, another TPS case, is decided.
The district court in Ramos previously found substantial evidence that the terminations of TPS for Sudan, Nicaragua, El Salvador, and Haiti were motivated by the Trump Administration's racism against non-white, non-European immigrants, and also that the terminations violated the Administrative Procedure Act. Plaintiffs in Bhattarai raised similar challenges to the termination of TPS for Honduras and Nepal. The Ramos decision is currently on appeal to the Ninth Circuit. A hearing is expected sometime this summer, with a decision to follow.
Plaintiff Keshav Bhattarai, a TPS holder from Nepal, and member of Adhikaar, which works with the Nepali community to promote human rights and social justice, reacted to the agreement with cautious celebration. "I feel like I’ve been sick and this agreement is a few drops of medicine. If approved by the court, it means the government can't end TPS for Nepal and Honduras until the appeals court decides whether the Trump Administration’s previous TPS terminations violated the law. And it gives us all some breathing room to call on Congress to give us what we really need: permanent protection for TPS holders."
"We are pleased the government agreed to this interim measure, but we know that justice for TPS holders and their families must ultimately come through Congress, which should pass legislation providing lawful permanent residence to these people, who have contributed so much to our society," said Ahilan Arulanantham, Senior Counsel at the ACLU of Southern California.
Minju Cho, Staff Attorney with Asian Americans Advancing Justice – Los Angeles, said "This agreement gives Nepali and Honduran TPS holders much-needed relief. We are thrilled that this stipulation gives 100,000 TPS holders and their families a little more certainty about their lives in the United States, at least for now. But this is not a permanent solution. We look forward to continue advocating for the rights of all TPS holders alongside all the plaintiffs and community organizations united in this cause."
Jessica Karp Bansal, Co-Legal Director at NDLON, said "TPS holders and their children are standing up to the Trump Administration in the courts and in Congress — and they’re gaining strength. In defending their own rights, TPS holders are protecting all of our rights to be free from racially motivated and arbitrary decision-making."
"We continue to use our litigation skills and work collaboratively to halt the administration's efforts to disregard the existing TPS statute, and, in the process, ensure that the system of checks and balances inherent in our judicial process is respected," said Sean Commons, a partner at Sidley Austin LLP’s office in Los Angeles. "This stay preserves the long-existing intent of the statute and provides a level of certainty for the more than one hundred thousand TPS holders from Honduras and Nepal and their families — many of whom have children that are U.S. citizens."
Plaintiffs in Bhattarai are members of diverse organizations fighting to defend TPS in the courts and in Congress, including Adhikaar, the International Union of Painters and Allied Trades (IUPAT), and the National TPS Alliance. They are represented by the ACLU Foundation of Southern California, the ACLU Foundation of Northern California, Asian Americans Advancing Justice-Asian Law Caucus, Asian Americans Advancing Justice-Los Angeles, the National Day Laborer Organizing Network, and the law firm of Sidley.
See the Stipulation to Stay at https://www.aclusocal.org/sites/default/files/aclu_socal_bhattarai_20190312_stipulation_stay.pdf