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February 10, 2023

Hundreds of Thousands of TPS Holders Continue to Be Protected

LOS ANGELES — Today, the full Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals granted a petition for a rehearing en banc, filed by Temporary Protected Status (TPS) holders and their U.S.-citizen children in the case, Ramos v. Mayorkas. The Ninth Circuit dismissed a previous decision from a three-judge panel.
“For five years, my family has faced a rollercoaster of emotions – from fear of terminations to elation from these court victories,” said plaintiff Cristina Morales, a TPS holder for over 20 years and a leader in the National TPS Alliance. “We call on the Biden administration to return to the negotiating table and reach an agreement.” 

Beneficiaries of TPS and their U.S.-citizen children brought the suit in 2018, after former President Trump revoked protections for individuals from El Salvador, Haiti, Nicaragua, Sudan and later for Nepal and Honduras. Though the Biden administration has since redesignated status for Haiti and Sudan, the administration has not extended the same protections for the other four countries.
“We are pleased that the Ninth Circuit has agreed to rehear this case,” said Ahilan Arulanantham, counsel for plaintiffs and faculty co-director of the Center for Immigration Law and Policy at UCLA School of Law. “But we should never have gotten to this point. President Biden had — and still has — every opportunity to fulfill his promise to protect the TPS-holder community.”  
Talks between the Biden administration and TPS holders broke down in late October 2022, after 16 months of negotiations. This left more than 300,000 TPS holders at risk of deportation and their children at risk of family separation. 
“As we celebrate today’s court victory, we continue to ask ourselves why President Biden is defending the Trump administration’s cruel TPS terminations in the first place,” said Jessica Bansal, legal director of Unemployed Workers United. “TPS holders are valued members of our community. The Biden administration should be supporting them, not defending Trump’s attempt to tear families apart.”

The plaintiffs are represented by the ACLU Foundations of Northern and Southern California, the Center for Immigration Law and Policy at UCLA School of Law, Unemployed Workers United and the law firm Sidley Austin LLP. The coalition of organizations representing TPS holders includes the National TPS Alliance, Carecen Los Angeles, Adhikaar, Haitian Bridge Alliance and African Communities Together.

“Hundreds of thousands of TPS holders should not live in limbo one day longer,” said Emi MacLean, senior staff attorney at the ACLU Foundation of Northern California. “President Biden must act immediately to undo Trump’s racist TPS terminations and guarantee protection for TPS holders.” 

Read the order: