September 16, 2020, Washington, D.C.—Crista Ramos likes to play soccer and wants to be an attorney. Just sixteen years old, she is also the lead plaintiff in a lawsuit against the Trump administration, challenging its cancellation of Temporary Protected Status (TPS) for nationals of El Salvador, Sudan, and Nicaragua, with potential cancellations for Honduras and Nepal on the horizon.
TPS is a program Congress created in 1990 to help countries recover from disaster and war. Born in El Salvador, Crista’s mom was able to live in the United States for two decades due to this policy. The status has allowed her to work legally, pay taxes, and raise her family in a safe place.
That’s what TPS is for – protection. And the Ramos v. Nielsen lawsuit is about protection for children too. Crista is a U.S. citizen.
This week, the 9th Circuit dealt a painful blow to the Ramos family and so many others who had been waiting on pins and needles for its ruling. The Court of Appeals decided to clear the way for the Trump administration to end TPS for Crista’s mom and hundreds of thousands of others.
Some 270,000 American citizens have parents with TPS; many of these are children and teenagers like Crista Ramos. If their parents are deported, long-settled American families will be cruelly torn apart or forced to relocate to dangerous places.
The stress of family separation, economic insecurity, and so many other challenges that may lie ahead is incredibly harmful to children’s development. Research shows that children separated from parents, and even children fearful of that separation, show signs of trauma, including depression and anxiety, and have difficulty in school. The threat to children’s emotional security matters to our country’s future, because our success as a society is tied to the success of all of our children.
Members of the Children Thrive Action Network (CTAN), a new coalition working to defend and support the millions of children in the United States who live in mixed-status immigrant families, are deeply saddened at the Appeals Court’s decision. We renew our call on the Trump administration to show compassion toward these families, and on Congress to create a permanent path to citizenship for people with TPS.