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Adhikaar Condemns Trump Administration’s Decision To End Temporary Protected Status (TPS) For 9,000 Nepalis; Calls On Congress To Act

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New York, N.Y. – TODAY, the Trump Administration announced that it is terminating the Temporary Protected Status (TPS) program for Nepal. The termination will take effect June 24, 2019.

The TPS program has benefited 14,791 Nepalis since the country was first designated after the devastating earthquakes on April 25, 2015. Currently almost 9,000 Nepalis legally reside in the U.S. with TPS, receiving legal work authorization and contributing to the American economy and communities across the country. These 9,000 individuals now have 12 months to seek legal or community support to prepare for TPS’ expiration on June 24, 2019.

Pabitra Khati Benjamin, Executive Director of Adhikaar, released the following statement in response to the announcement:

“Terminating TPS for Nepal is not just wrong but immoral. It is clear that in the three years since the earthquake, Nepal is still very much in recovery mode. Less than 13.3% of the homes affected have been rebuilt. Yes, the country is functioning but that is in part as a result of TPS holders sending money back home to rebuild.”

“As result of TPS holders speaking out and our community organizing, Nepal TPS holders will get an additional 12 months of temporary status and work authorization. This is not enough. Many Nepali Americans who have temporary status have contributed to the U.S. economy for five or more years, if not decades.

“Canceling TPS adds to the immigration crisis our country is suffocating under as a result of our political leaders’ inability to address immigration reform. Nepali TPS holders adds to the hundreds of thousands of TPS holders who are scrambling to figure out how to either adjust status or leave behind everything they have built, including their homes, businesses, children and families. Many of these community members do not have a path to become permanent residents which is why we are calling on Congress to pass a bill that gives all TPS and DED holders a pathway to permanent residency. We urge Congress to take action on the American Promise Act 2017 (H.R. 4253), the SECURE Act (S. 2144), and the ASPIRE TPS Act 2017 (H.R 4384), which would do just that.”

Jeanne Atkinson, Executive Director of the Catholic Legal Immigration Network, Inc.:

“The administration has issued yet another disgraceful and illogical decision by terminating TPS for Nepal,” said Jeanne Atkinson, executive director of the Catholic Legal Immigration Network Inc. CLINIC worked with Adhikaar on a report on conditions in Nepal “Once again, the administration is disregarding TPS law and clearly established precedent. The facts are clear. Nepal has barely begun recovering from the massive earthquake, which leveled huge swaths of the country just a few years ago. It is abhorrent that this administration is breaking the promise the United States made to help Nepal rebuild (on the heels of the anniversary of the 2015 earthquake) by sending 9,000 Nepali TPS holders and their families back to a country without adequate housing, water, food, health care, sanitation and other services.”

Gita*, Nepali TPS recipient and nail salon worker: “With TPS, I was not afraid, I was able to work in peace. I got a work permit and health insurance. It made my life easier for me and gave me the confidence to advocate for myself with my employers. This decision makes me sad, but I know that in these 12 months we need to fight for a permanent pathway to citizenship. I want to make sure that other countries and other people are able to benefit. This is the time to fight now.”

*name changed to protect TPS recipient’s identity

If you are a member of Nepali media, please contact Prarthana Gurung at prarthana@adhikaar.org.