LexisNexis® CLE On-Demand features premium content from partners like American Law Institute Continuing Legal Education and Pozner & Dodd. Choose from a broad listing of topics suited for law firms, corporate legal departments, and government entities. Individual courses and subscriptions available.
NIPNLG, Apr. 12, 2019
" In a victory for due process and a blow to Trump’s racially-biased, anti-immigrant policies, yesterday, federal district judge William F. Kuntz II issued a preliminary injunction blocking the Trump administration’s decision to end Temporary Protected Status (TPS) for Haiti.
The Trump Administration had terminated TPS for more than 50,000 Haitians who have lived lawfully and contributed to the U.S. for nearly a decade. This decision is the result of a four-day trial in early January 2019 that heard testimony from experts, former government officials, and plaintiffs about the impact of the TPS termination, and the ways in which the government’s decision-making process violated long-established agency practices.
In making the decision, Judge Kuntz reviewed evidence submitted by the government, by the plaintiffs, and “privileged” evidence (evidence only available to him). He then issued a nationwide injunction prohibiting DHS from terminating TPS for Haiti pending the outcome of the litigation, effective immediately.
Download the preliminary injunction here »
There is also a preliminary injunction for Haitian TPS holders in a parallel case, Ramos v. Nielsen, which is currently on appeal. This injunction will continue until further order from Judge Kuntz, even if the one in Ramos is terminated upon a decision on appeal.
Specifically, Judge Kuntz ruled that the plaintiffs are likely to succeed on the merits of their claim that DHS did not did not conduct a good-faith, evidence-based review of facts on the ground to determine whether to extend Haiti’s TPS, but was instead improperly influenced by White House officials’ political motivations to terminate TPS, in violation of the Administrative Procedures Act. The court also ruled that plaintiffs were likely to succeed on their claims that DHS had changed the standard for determining how TPS decisions are made, without notice or explanation, and that the Trump Administration terminated TPS for Haiti based on racial animus.
Sejal Zota, Legal Director at the National Immigration Project of the National Lawyers Guild (NIPNLG) and attorney for the plaintiffs, said: “This 150-page decision is a long and thorough missive on government manipulation. It exposes at the highest levels the government’s unlawful dismantling of the TPS program, and its discriminatory purposes in doing so. It also vindicates the brave struggle of Haitian TPS holders who challenged Trump, because the law was on their side.” Our co-counsel in the case was Kurzban, Kurzban, Tetzeli and Pratt, and Mayer Brown. Providing significant support was the Institute for Justice and Democracy in Haiti (IJDH), a Boston-based human rights nonprofit.
In sum: Judge Kuntz’s findings indicate that the White House pressured federal agencies to change their longstanding practices to reach a decision sought by the Administration for its own purposes, and that these same federal agencies manipulated facts and processes to justify a predetermined decision to end Haiti’s TPS status. “The evidence shows the White House exerted significant influence” over Elaine Duke, then acting secretary of the Department of Homeland Security.
NIPNLG is enormously grateful for the support and tireless efforts of all of our partners in this important decision, as well as to our brilliant co-counsel. We are thrilled to share this victory with them, and with the over 50,000 impacted U.S. Haitians who will benefit from the decision.
The Court dismissed the claims related to notice and comment and the Regulatory Flexibility Act, as well as Haiti Liberté’s claims based on a lack of standing.
More information about the lawsuit, links to the court filings and decisions, are available here.
View the decision here"