TRENTON – Acting to protect thousands of New Jersey residents who could face deportation because the Trump Administration has terminated their Temporary Protected Status (TPS), Attorney General Gurbir S. Grewal today urged a federal court not to dismiss a pending lawsuit that challenges the TPS terminations.
In an amicus brief filed in U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of New York, Attorney General Grewal joined Attorneys General for the District of Columbia, Massachusetts, California and other states in arguing that (1) the Court has full authority to review and rule on the Administration’s recent termination of TPS for foreign nationals from Haiti, El Salvador and Honduras and (2) terminating TPS for immigrants from the affected countries will harm children, families, businesses, communities and, ultimately, the entire U.S. economy.
Under federal law, TPS provides temporary protected status to foreign nationals in the U.S. from countries experiencing armed conflict, natural disaster or other extraordinary conditions.
Approximately 14,000 foreign nationals from Haiti, El Salvador and Honduras live and work in New Jersey under the protection of TPS designations granted years ago – after those countries suffered natural catastrophes.
“The Administration persists in trying to expel tens of thousands of hard-working, law-abiding immigrants – including many New Jersey homeowners and business owners who have become valued, taxpaying members of the communities in which they live and are raising their children,” said Attorney General Grewal.
The brief filed today speaks of the harm states will suffer as jobs in nursing, construction, hospitality, food service, landscaping, child care and retail – jobs heavily populated by TPS holders – go unfilled, and property-owning residents who buy homes, shop for products and otherwise act as regular daily consumers are forced to leave the country.
Attorney General Grewal noted that removal of such immigrants from the U.S. – and from the local work force – could cost New Jersey more than $872 million, according to one report by the Center for American Progress.
In addition, there are approximately 9,000 U.S. citizen children living in New Jersey whose parents are TPS holders. Deporting their parents would traumatize the children, bringing serious emotional harm to thousands of families.
“Thousands of our neighbors could face a return to unstable, unsafe conditions in the countries from which they fled, and also confront potential harm to their families in the form of distance, separation and dislocation,” said Attorney General Grewal. “If the Administration prevails in carrying out its cruel and misguided plan to rescind the TPs of hard-working immigrants, it will harm countless lives and cause untold damage to the fabric of our communities. We must push back.”
Attorney General Grewal also noted that termination of TPS for foreign nationals from Haiti, El Salvador and Honduras will inevitably lead to public safety concerns, as TPS grantees retreat “into the shadows” and fear that reporting a crime or cooperating with law enforcement will lead to their deportation.
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