powered by social2s

Image of the Virginia AG Seal

Commonwealth of Virginia
Office of the Attorney General

Mark Herring
Attorney General

202 North Ninth Street
Richmond, Virginia 23219


For media inquiries only, contact:  
Charlotte Gomer, Press Secretary
Phone: (804)786-1022 
Mobile: (804) 512-2552
Email: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.



~ More than 20,000 long-term Virginia residents could have been exposed to deportation; Court cites “direct evidence of animus” and “circumstantial evidence of race being a motivating factor” in issuing preliminary injunction ~



RICHMOND (October 4, 2018) – Attorney General Mark R. Herring and his colleagues have successfully helped protect thousands of vulnerable Virginians who hold Temporary Protected Status (TPS) from President Trump’s unlawful attempt to cancel their protections and subject them to deportation. Last night, following the filing of an amicus brief by Attorney General Herring as part of an 18-state coalition, a federal judge in California issued a preliminary injunction blocking the Trump Administration’s efforts to terminate TPS protection for natives of El Salvador, Haiti, Nicaragua, and Sudan. Virginia is home to more than 20,000 El Salvadorans who were granted TPS after a series of earthquakes in the country caused widespread damage.


“This is great news for the thousands of Virginia residents who have sought safety and refuge in Virginia, and to whom the federal government made a promise,” said Attorney General Herring. “These individuals have put down roots in Virginia, raised and started families, built and contributed to growing businesses, and become valued members of their communities. President Trump’s move was unjust, unfair, and unlawful, and I’m glad that we’ve been able to help put the brakes on it."


In issuing its preliminary injunction, the Court found that plaintiffs had “provided evidence indicating that (1) the DHS Acting Secretary or Secretary was influenced by President Trump and/or the White House in her TPS decision-making and (2) President Trump has expressed animus against non-white, non-European immigrants.” The court also found that President Trump’s own words and numerous statements as a candidate and as president disparaging immigrants constituted evidence of “animus against non-white, non-European aliens.”


“It's striking that, yet again, a federal court has cited President Trump's own words and actions as evidence of discriminatory intent and animus towards immigrants," said Attorney General Herring. "This is just like our case against the Muslim ban, in which we won an injunction after presenting a mountain of evidence to show that the ban was conceived in bigotry and disdain for immigrants and visitors of a certain religion. President Trump and his team should remember that words and actions have consequences, and that my colleagues and I will hold them accountable for the things they say and do.”


TPS protects individuals who are in the United States and whose home countries face armed conflict, natural disasters, or other crises that make the return of TPS holders to their home countries unsafe. Many TPS holders have lived here for a decade or more and have started families and businesses, bought homes, and significantly contributed to their communities.


Under the Trump Administration, the Department of Homeland Security attempted to change its long-standing practices used to evaluate TPS status, and instead use a more narrow analysis that was likely to result in the termination of many TPS holders’ status.


After a lawsuit challenging the Trump Administration’s proposal was filed in California, Attorney General Herring joined an 18-state coalition in filing an amicus brief in support of the plaintiffs and asking the court to block the move.


The amicus brief argued that DHS’s new rule is contrary to the public interest and that it would harm the people of Virginia in a number of ways, including its impact on:


  • Family members, including hundreds of thousands of U.S. citizen children, who will suffer trauma and hardship from unnecessary and forced separation;
  • The economy and the workforce, which are enriched by the employment, entrepreneurship and contributions of TPS holders;
  • Public revenues, which are enhanced by the taxes contributed by TPS holders, including an estimated $100 million alone in property taxes collected annually from Salvadoran homeowners with TPS;
  • Healthcare delivery, which will suffer from disruptions in care provided by TPS holders who work at child care facilities, nursing homes, and hospitals;
  • Public health, which will be hindered by the loss of employer-sponsored insurance for TPS holders and their families; and
  • Public safety, which will be damaged by making TPS holders less likely to report crime.


Attorney General Herring filed his brief along with Attorneys General from California, the District of Columbia, Massachusetts, Connecticut, Delaware, Hawai'i, Illinois, Iowa, Maine, Maryland, Minnesota, New Mexico, New York, Oregon, Rhode Island, Vermont, and Washington.

# # #