Trial Over Haitian TPS Lawsuit Starts

Protesters marched against the Trump administration’s decision to rescind TPS for Haitians. (Photo via The Haitian Times)

A federal trial on a lawsuit filed in March by Haitian TPS (temporary protected status) holders over the government’s termination of the status started on Monday at the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of New York at 225 Cadman Plaza East in Brooklyn. It claims that ending the TPS designation on the part of the Department of Homeland Security is “an arbitrary and capricious agency action that was undertaken without statutory authority and without the procedures required by law.”

According to the suit, the move affects more than 50,000 Haitians in the U.S.; some 5,200 of them live in New York, Andrea Leonhardt of BK Reader notes, citing the number from the New York Immigration Coalition. She covered a rally of supporters Monday morning in front of the courthouse that included Assembly member Rodneyse Bichotte and Council member Mathieu Eugene, both of Haitian descent, as well as Rep. Nydia Velazquez and Council member Jumaane Williams.

The Haitian Times’ Naeisha Rose reports that according to Steven Forester, the immigration policy coordinator for the Institute for Justice and Democracy in Haiti, “the trial is expected to last four days.” He added: “The lawsuit alleges that the Trump administration violated the Constitution and U.S. statutes in terminating TPS.”

Rose writes:

The suit against Trump was brought on by a dozen plaintiffs, including Patrick Saget of Haïti Liberté, a Haitian newspaper, the Family Action Network Movement Inc., an immigration coalition that works to empower Haitian women and their families in south Florida, according to National Immigration Project of the National Lawyers Guild (NIPNLG).

Lawyers from NIPNLG with the law firms of Kurzban, Kurzban, Weinger, Tetzeli and Pratt P.A. and Mayer Brown came into the defense of the TPS holders because the rhetoric against Haitian immigrants were too explicit and ugly to ignore.

The reporter added that, as stated in a press release, the “Saget et al v. Trump case is the first trial to challenge the government’s unlawful termination of TPS.”

Go to The Haitian Times for more background on TPS in the Haitian community.

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