TPS court decision could unleash next major family separation crisis

SILVER SPRING, Maryland — The 9th Circuit decision in Ramos v. Nielsen, linked to another TPS case Bhattarai v. Nielsen, brings the administration one step closer to ending Temporary Protected Status, or TPS, for almost all people with TPS in the United States. In addition to dramatically upending hundreds of thousands of people’s lives, the Sept. 14 decision could potentially unleash the next major family separation crisis unless Congress takes immediate action. More than 270,000 U.S. citizens have parents with TPS.  

Anna Gallagher, CLINIC executive director, said: “Congress created Temporary Protected Status more than thirty years ago, rightly, because it would be unconscionable to deport people back to crisis and conflict. No family should be faced with the choice of either splitting up or moving their entire family, including U.S. citizen children, to a country where they face danger.“   

CLINIC advocated for the extension of TPS for all ten countries that were enrolled in the program when the Trump administration took office. Despite overwhelming evidence that people could not safely return, the administration moved to end TPS for El Salvador, Honduras, Sudan, Nicaragua, Haiti and Nepal.  

“The administration’s ongoing and deliberate attacks against TPS holders are an affront to human dignity,” said Jill Marie Bussey, CLINIC director of Advocacy. “They illustrate a xenophobic agenda as the driver of policy, not facts on the ground. Meanwhile, hundreds of thousands of people in the United States are living in fear of being deported to countries that are not safe. At this difficult moment resulting from the court’s ruling, CLINIC reaffirms our solidarity with this beloved, indispensable community.”  

CLINIC will continue to stand shoulder-to-shoulder with the TPS holders and their families leading this movement for justice, which is far from over. Only Congress, not the courts, has the power to provide permanent protection. CLINIC calls in the strongest possible terms for a pathway to citizenship now for those whose lives hang in the balance.