February 11, 2019 | Office of Attorney General Keith Ellison

Press Release

Attorney General Ellison joins effort to defend immigrant holders of Temporary Protected Status

Joins coalition of 22 attorneys general in supporting preliminary injunction to block DHS from deporting immigrants to home countries with dangerous or harmful conditions

February 11, 2019 (SAINT PAUL) — Minnesota Attorney General Keith Ellison has joined a coalition of 22 attorneys general, led by California, Massachusetts, and the District of Columbia, in defending immigrants who hold Temporary Protected Status (TPS). Ellison joined the other attorneys general in filing an amicus brief in Ramos v. Nielsen before the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit.

TPS protects people in the United States who would face danger or harm if they returned to their home countries because of armed conflict, natural disasters, or other crises there. Many TPS holders have lived in the United States for a decade or more and have started families and businesses, bought homes, and significantly contributed to their communities. Minnesota is believed to be home to 5,000 to 10,000 holders of TPS who hail from a variety of countries.

“Thousands of Minnesotans are able to live here in peace and work to afford their lives and live with dignity because TPS has protected them from being deported to countries that are in the throes of war, conflict, and natural disaster. By joining this brief, I’m using the powers of the Attorney General to do my part to protect not only them and their families, but the communities in our state where they’ve contributed so much,” Attorney General Ellison said.

The amicus brief that Attorney General Ellison joined, which is available at the website of California Attorney General Xavier Becerra, supports the plaintiffs’ efforts to prevent the potential deportation of hundreds of thousands of people who hold Temporary Protected Status. The plaintiffs in the Ramos case — who are citizen children, their non-citizen parents, and other adults who have lived in the United States legally, some for decades — allege  that the U.S. Department of Homeland Security (DHS) enacted a new rule regarding TPS without following legal requirements and that the rule had discriminatory intent. On October 3, 2018, the Northern District of California sided with the plaintiffs: it issued a preliminary nationwide injunction, pending the final outcome of the case. Minnesota joined an amicus brief at the district court level as well. The current amicus brief that Attorney General Ellison joined asks the Ninth Circuit to uphold the injunction that plaintiffs obtained in the district court, which blocks DHS from terminating TPS designations specifically for people from Haiti, El Salvador, Nicaragua, and Sudan.

Under the Trump Administration, DHS changed its long-standing practice of evaluating the entirety of the conditions in a country when determining whether it is safe for TPS holders to return. Without any substantial explanation, DHS argued that it can only look at the original condition in the home country that prompted its TPS designation when deciding whether to extend that designation. This new policy ignores other intervening conditions that pose serious threats to the safety of TPS holders. 

The amicus brief notes that DHS’s new rule is contrary to the public interest and will harm the people of Minnesota and other states in a number of ways, including its impact on:

In the brief, Attorney General Ellison and the other attorneys general also argue that the district court’s decision to enter the preliminary injunction on a nationwide basis was correct, based on the substantial evidence the court had before it regarding the national impact of the federal government’s decisions to rescind TPS designations.

Attorney General Ellison joined the filing of this brief along with attorneys general from California, Connecticut, Delaware, the District of Columbia, Hawai’i, Illinois, Iowa, Maine, Maryland, Massachusetts, Michigan, Nevada, New Jersey, New Mexico, New York, North Carolina, Oregon, Rhode Island, Vermont, Virginia, and Washington.