Michigan Attorney General Dana Nessel joined legal actions against two immigration-related rules from President Donald Trump’s administration in December.
According to a statement from Nessel’s office, Michigan’s chief law enforcement officer has joined Democratic attorneys general from around the country in challenging Trump’s effort to revoke Temporary Protected Status (TPS) for Haitian nationals and a rule that will divert asylum-seekers to different countries.
In regards to the latter, Nessel said the rule will send asylum-seekers to South American countries that have signed asylum cooperative agreements with the U.S., such as Guatemala, El Salvador, and Honduras.
“This interim final rule ignores the vital economic contributions of immigrants throughout our state and this country and blatantly disregards the fact that asylum-seekers are already seeking protection from dangerous circumstances,” Attorney General Nessel said in a statement. “Forcing them into countries with some of the highest homicide rates in the world and providing no safeguards against family separation is not only counterproductive but pushes asylum-seekers further into the danger they’ve fought so hard to flee.”
Her office joined 19 other state attorneys general in submitting a comment letter to the Department of Homeland Security to oppose the new rule.
She also expressed concern that the rule will cause “additional trauma” by separating families, since there is no requirement that families who arrived together in the U.S. be removed to the same country.
Nessel then joined 20 attorneys general in filing a December 30 amicus brief against the Trump administration’s effort to revoke TPS for Haitian nationals in the country. In a brief filed in Saget v. Trump before the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit, Nessel and her colleagues argue that the administration lacks a “reasonable rationale” for the move and violated the Administrative Procedure Act.
The amicus brief asks the court to uphold a lower court’s ruling and provide a nationwide injunction against the termination to prevent “widespread harm” in the states named in the brief.
The attorneys general argue that terminating TPS for Haitian nationals would involve separating families and harm states economically.
“Haiti first received TPS designation following a devastating earthquake 10 years ago that left the country and its residents vulnerable,” said Nessel. “The federal government’s actions are arbitrary, capricious and an abuse of discretion and we as attorneys general have an obligation to hold them accountable.”
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Anthony Gockowski is managing editor of The Minnesota Sun and The Ohio Star. Follow Anthony on Twitter. Email tips to [email protected].
Photo “Dana Nessel” by Dana Nessel and “Michigan Capital” is by the State of Michigan.