Plaintiff Keshav Raj Bhattarai, a member of Adhikaar and Nepali TPS holder shares, “I am proud to be a part of this lawsuit, for all the other Nepali TPS holders like me. With TPS I have been able to build a new life here with my family and I have a found a stable job. When I see so many people’s lives at risk in losing TPS, I am troubled to see that this country would harm its hardworking workers and people. I wish to continue working to support this country, and also continue supporting the rebuilding of Nepal, which is still recovering from the earthquake.”
The complaint filed today alleges that, in terminating TPS for Honduras and Nepal, political appointees in the Department of Homeland Security deliberately ignored recommendations from U.S. Ambassadors and evidence of conditions on the ground. Instead, they predetermined that TPS must be terminated to further the President’s “America First” policy, which seeks to exclude non-white, non-European immigrants. The complaint recites a litany of racist statements made by President Trump in reference to Latin American and South Asian countries and immigrants, including referring to immigrants as snakes and animals, mispronouncing Nepal as “nipple,” and faking an Indian accent in imitation of Indian Prime Minster Narendra Modi.
Plaintiff Donaldo Posadas Caceres, a member of the painters union (IUPAT DC21) with TPS from Honduras explains, “I’m taking part in this lawsuit not just for myself and my daughter but for everyone who would be hurt by our TPS being taken away. Forcing our children to choose between the life they have here or a country they don’t know is unfair. Sending all of us to danger and instability is unjust. I’m proud to have been a union painter for two decades in this country and it does not feel right to see all of that just cut away.”
Jessica Bansal, NDLON’s Co-Legal Director, said: “The Trump Administration is illegally trying to gut the humanitarian TPS program, but TPS holders are fighting back. They have already won a temporary reprieve for hundreds of thousands of TPS holders. With today’s filing, they seek to protect tens of thousands more.”
Plaintiffs in the lawsuit 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.
Jenny Zhao, Staff Attorney at Asian Americans Advancing Justice – Asian Law Caucus, said: “The Trump Administration’s plan to end TPS for Honduras and Nepal must be stopped before it causes immeasurable harm to TPS holders, their families, and their communities.”
Minju Cho, Staff Attorney at Asian Americans Advancing Justice – Los Angeles said: “TPS holders are valued members of our communities. They are parents to tens of thousands of U.S. citizen children. TPS is vital to people’s ability to work and provide for themselves and their families. We are proud to stand alongside these communities in their fight against the Trump administration’s unconstitutional attempt to take TPS away.”
Ahilan Arulanantham, Senior Counsel at the ACLU Foundation of Southern California, said: “We are proud to represent these courageous U.S. citizen children and their parents who held Temporary Protected Status before the Trump Administration unlawfully stripped it away. They ask only that our government respect their due process rights. We hope the Court will uphold the rule of law and grant them the protection they deserve.”
Asian Americans Advancing Justice – Asian Law Caucus
was founded in 1972 as the nation’s first legal and civil rights Asian American organization. Recognizing that social, economic, political and racial inequalities continue to exist in the United States, Advancing Justice – ALC is committed to the pursuit of equality and justice for all sectors of our society, with a specific focus directed toward addressing the needs of low-income, immigrant and underserved Asian Americans and Pacific Islanders.