Nessel joins immigration fights against Trump administration

By: - March 1, 2019 12:20 am

Attorney General Dana Nessel has joined two federal amicus briefs on cases protecting immigrants already in the United States and those attempting to enter the country, her office said on Thursday.

Dana Nessel after a House Judiciary Committee hearing, Feb. 19, 2019 | Ken Coleman

Nessel and 21 other attorneys general have joined the case of Ramos v. Nielsen in the Ninth Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals and she also joined the case of Al Otro Lado v. Nielsen in the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of California, according to a statement from her office.

The former case deals with the U.S. Department of Homeland Security, led by Kirstjen Nielsen, and its attempts to terminate the Temporary Protected Status (TPS) of people from Haiti, El Salvador, Nicaragua and Sudan. The case asks the court to uphold the status. Restricting immigration has been a top priority of President Donald Trump’s administration.

“Many of these people are in the United States and specifically in Michigan, because their home countries face armed conflict, natural disasters or other crisis that make their return home unsafe,” Nessel said in a statement.  “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.”

In the Al Otro Lado case, Nessel seeks to challenge Homeland Security’s so-called “turnback policy” which can deny entry to people seeking lawful asylum at the Mexican border. Michigan is the 20th state to join the lawsuit.

Nessel says the methods which U.S. Customs and Border Control Protection use to block people from seeking asylum — which she said includes threats and intimidation, coercion and verbal and physical abuse — need to be stopped.

“Michigan is the fifth largest refugee settlement state in the country,” said Nessel. “We also have the nation’s largest state program for Unaccompanied Refugee Minors to help those children who were separated from their parents at the border. These children and their families have experienced terrible treatment from our own officials and that must be stopped.”

Recently, many of Michigan’s communities have also been dealing with the heightened tension over immigration. On Thursday, the Grand Rapids Police Department placed a senior office on leave after details emerged about his involvement in detaining and possibly deporting a Latino American citizen, according to Michigan Radio.

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Nick Manes
Nick Manes

Nick Manes is a former Michigan Advance reporter, covering West Michigan, business and labor, health care and the safety net. He previously spent six years as a reporter at MiBiz covering commercial real estate, economic development and all manner of public policy at the local and state levels.