17 State Attorneys General File an Amicus Brief in a Lawsuit to Prevent Terminating TPS

By Dan Cadman on June 26, 2018

Seventeen state attorneys general have banded together to file an amicus brief in favor of aliens (and the advocacy groups who underwrite them) who are suing the Trump administration for announcing the end of several long-running Temporary Protected Status (TPS) programs for various foreign nationals (see here and here).

We at the center have written often about past administrations' abuse of TPS programs, many of which have been of such long duration as to make the word "temporary" laughable (see here and here).

Of course, with the weaponization of federal lawsuits as a means to obstruct enforcement of the nation's immigration laws — as has happened repeatedly especially since Donald Trump took office — the removal of aliens illegally in the country is at this point mostly theoretical.

But it isn't just the advocacy groups that have rallied against immigration enforcement, as is evident from the number of states and municipalities that have sued for any number of reasons, ranging from the "travel ban", to construction of a border wall, to de-funding sanctuaries, to you-name-it.

My guess is that the state attorneys general in this instance would be filing their own lawsuit if they could figure out even the least basis on which a federal court might grant them standing to allege "harm" by the TPS terminations. So at least until one of them comes up with a novel argument they think might pass muster before an activist judge with a progressive bent, they have contented themselves with the amicus brief.

Even so, one wonders whether they have contemplated the long-term wisdom in joining this particular scrum. Every time something happens in some far-away place in the future, and advocacy groups (or interested state attorneys general) urge the president to exercise his discretion and grant TPS, he is going to remember the incontestable fact that, if he does, it will sit like an albatross around his neck for years to come — precisely because of the litigious-minded zealots who always rabble rouse in favor of grants of discretion, but then argue that it is abuse of discretion when such programs are put to bed. Why would any president want that?