Tuesday, February 12, 2019

Nepalese lawsuit claims racism behind Homeland Security's policy vs. TPS program

Immigrants from Nepal and Honduras and Nepal have filed a lawsuit alleging the Trump administration unfairly ended a program that allows them to live and work in the United States.
The lawsuit filed late Sunday (Feb. 10) in federal court in San Francisco alleges that the U.S. Department of Homeland Security's decision to end so-called temporary protected status, or TPS, for the countries was motivated by racism.
"I am proud to be a part of this lawsuit, for all the other Nepali TPS holders like me," said Keshav Raj Bhattarai, one of the six plaintiffs. "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 class-action suit — which was filed on behalf of six immigrants and two of their American-born children — seeks to stop the unlawful termination of TPS for over 100,000 TPS holders from Honduras and Nepal and prevent the separation of tens of thousands of U.S. citizen children from their TPS-holder parents. 
"We bring evidence the Trump administration has repeatedly denigrated non-white non-European immigrants and reviewed TPS designations with a goal of removing such non-white non-European immigrants from the United States," said Minju Cho, a staff attorney at Asian Americans Advancing Justice in Los Angeles.
Besides the AAAJ-LA, the immigrant plaintiffs, who live California, Minnesota, Maryland, Virginia and Connecticut, are represented by the ACLU Foundation of Southern California, the ACLU Foundation of Northern California of Southern California, Asian Americans Advancing Justice-Asian Law Caucus, the National Day Laborer Organizing Network, and Sidley Austin.
The complaint 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 Donald Trump in reference to Latin American and South Asian countries and immigrants.
"TPS holders are valued members of our communities. They are parents to tens and thousands of U.S. citizen children. TPS is vital to people's ability to work and provide for themselves and their families," said Cho.

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