BALTIMORE, MD—Maryland Attorney General Brian E. Frosh on Monday joined a group of 21 attorneys general in challenging the Trump administration’s effort to revoke Temporary Protected Status (TPS) for Haitian nationals.
If the administration is allowed to move forward, Haitian TPS holders in Maryland, other states, and the District of Columbia would lose their legal status, leaving them vulnerable to deportation.
In an amicus brief filed in support of the plaintiffs in Saget v. Trump before the United States Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit, the coalition of attorneys general argue that the administration lacked a reasonable rationale for the move, violating the Administrative Procedure Act (APA).
The brief urges the Court of Appeals to affirm the lower court’s ruling and uphold a nationwide injunction against the termination.
Haiti first received TPS designation after the earthquake of 2010. As early as March 2017, the Trump administration set out to reverse the designation. Political appointees in the administration pressured Department of Homeland Security (DHS) staffers to effectively manufacture a rationale for the change, pushing them to depart from established agency procedure by, for example, gathering criminality and welfare data on Haitian TPS beneficiaries, according to a press release from Attorney General Frosh.
In November 2017, Acting DHS Secretary Elaine Duke announced that the agency would terminate TPS for Haiti.
“Haitian immigrants living under TPS in the United States are here because their home country suffered unimaginable, and long-lasting, devastation after the 2010 earthquake and other natural disasters,” said Attorney General Frosh. “Terminating their status without justification is illegal and harms states like Maryland, which has welcomed hundreds of Haitian immigrants.”
In April 2019, the United States District Court for the Eastern District of New York held that DHS’s decision was unlawful and ordered a nationwide preliminary injunction. The Trump administration is now appealing the ruling in the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit.
In addition to Maryland, the brief was joined by the attorneys general of California, Connecticut, Delaware, the District of Columbia, Hawaii, Illinois, Maine, Massachusetts, Michigan, Minnesota, Nevada, New Jersey, New Mexico, New York, North Carolina, Oregon, Rhode Island, Vermont, Virginia, and Washington.