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New York, NY – The Kathmandu Post reports on Mayor Bill de Blasio’s statement last week, which called on the Administration to extend Temporary Protected Status (TPS) for Nepali TPS holders in New York, so that they are not forced to return to an unstable and unsafe country still recovering from a calamitous natural disaster.
As the piece notes:
The Department of Homeland Security initially designated Nepal for TPS in 2015 after the national suffered two catastrophic earthquakes. A 7.8 magnitude earthquake struck Nepal on April 25, 2015 followed by a 6.8 magnitude earthquake on May 12.
The piece in its entirety can be accessed here, and key excerpts follow:
Bill de Blasio, Mayor of the City of New York on behalf of 7,600 New Yorkers born in Nepal has urged Secretary Kirstjen Nielsen and Deputy Secretary John Sullivan of US Department of Homeland Security and US Department of State respectively to extend Nepal’s Temporary Permanent Status (TPS) designation for a full 18 months.
The earthquake triggered landslides, avalanches and powerful aftershocks, devastating the country’s infrastructure, isolating rural areas, exacerbating existing sanitation problems and severely impeding rescue and rebuilding efforts.
Nepal’s government estimates that a result of these disasters 8,790 people died, more than 500,000 houses were damaged or destroyed and a total of 8 million people were affected by the devastation.
Nepal’s recovery has been painfully slow and remains incomplete. The earthquake initially displaced hundreds of thousands of people, the statement read.
“In June 2015, I call your predecessors, Jen Johnson and John Kerry, to designate for TPS. In recognition of these ongoing challenges, DSH extended the TPS designation for Nepal in 2016,” Bill de Blasio said, adding, “At that time, DHS referenced Nepal’s then Prime Minister, who estimated it would take two years to rebuilt all private homes and three years to rebuild destroyed schools. This timeline, which laid the DHS’s extension, has not been achieved and rebuilding is nowhere near complete.”
Today, Nepal’s TPS designation remains important to the City of New York and Nepalis New Yorkers who would return to the country with inadequate housing, infrastructure, housing and schools if their TPS status is terminated, the statement further read.
“Conditions of Nepal have not improved enough for the nation to reabsorb individuals who currently holds TPS status,” Bill de Blasio said. “Nepalis New Yorkers with TPS would be forced to abandon the stability and livelihoods that they have found in New York. I urge you recognise the hardships caused by the country’s still-incomplete recovery and extend Nepal’s TPS designation for an additional 18 months,” he added.