SAN FRANCISCO (KPIX 5) — A hearing was held in San Francisco Friday on as adult immigrants who are legally in the U.S. challenged a Trump administration effort to terminate their protected status.
The TPS or temporary protected status of an estimated 300,000 people living legally in the U.S. is being threatened. Supporters and some of the plaintiffs in lawsuit that was filed last March rallied outside of the Phillip Burton Federal Building and Court House during the hearing.
“If we don’t fight for TPS holders, they’re going to meet the same fate that families are going through at the US-Mexico border,” said National Day Laborer Organizing Network Director Pablo Alvarado.
As people from countries that have been affected by extreme violence or disasters, they received temporary protected status.
The administration is now allowing the status to expire for the majority of them, including those from Haiti, Nicaragua, and Nepal, arguing they’ve outlived their need to stay in the U.S.
“Just look at us. What threat do we pose to this society?” asked Alvarado.
The National Day Laborer Organizing Network and the ACLU Foundation of Southern California are two of the groups representing nine TPS holders and their five U.S. citizen children in the lawsuit.
“I don’t want my mom to go back to El Salvador, a country that is not her home. My brother and I don’t know any other country besides the United States,” said 14-year-old Christa Ramos, one of the children in the case.
Some of the plaintiffs, like other TPS holders, have lived in the United States for 20 or more years. They say it’s terrifying to think of potentially being forced to leave their home and getting sent back to countries like El Salvador where the violence is unthinkable.
“This administration wants to tell Americans to fear undocumented people. There’s no reason to fear; we’re very beautiful people,” said Alvarado.
The Department of Homeland Security has already discontinued TPS status for Hondurans. They have until January 5, 2020 to leave or get legal residency in a different way.
TPS holders also have to undergo a criminal background check every 18 months.