9,000 Nepali TPS Holders Await Decision Due by April 25th
On a press call this afternoon, a Nepali TPS holder, policy and country conditions experts, and immigrant rights advocates called on the Trump Administration to extend Temporary Protected Status (TPS) for those 9,000 Nepali immigrants currently protected under the program.
Namrata Pradhan, Nepali TPS holder, domestic worker, and Organizer at Adhikaar (NYC), said, “I moved to the United States from Nepal over a decade ago. In Nepal, I was a lawyer at an NGO advancing the rights of women and children. After migrating to the U.S. I was forced to leave behind my education and work as a nanny. But now, because of TPS, I now am on staff at both Adhikaar and the National Domestic Workers Alliance, and continue to be a nanny. I have gained a newfound sense of confidence. I am no longer afraid of speaking openly about my immigration status, and even use my TPS status to organize others with TPS and other in community. I feel like I have finally contributed something.”
“TPS allowed me to continue working and become part of a community. It has given me security and allowed me and so many others to support ourselves and our families. The earthquake that destroyed Nepal in 2015 has left our communities still struggling.
“On April 25, the Department of Homeland Security will make a decision whether or not to renew TPS for Nepal. For them, it is just a single decision like a signature on a piece of paper. But for me and the almost 9,000 other Nepalis with TPS like me, this is a life-changing decision. Our homes are here, we are as American as anyone else and we deserve to be here.”
Austin Lord, PhD Student of Sociocultural Anthropology, Cornell University, said, “Remittance from Nepali citizens working abroad is extremely important across Nepal, as it represents roughly 30% of Nepal’s GDP. Remittance is particularly critical in the earthquake-affected regions where reconstruction remains ongoing. Remittance flows from countries like the United States, where Nepali workers seeking foreign employment find relatively safe working conditions that help families generate remittance and savings are particularly important (many Nepalis working in other countries encounter unsafe working conditions and debt traps, and are less successful in sending money home).
“Based on my own experiences and observations in Nepal (as well as the experiences of Nepali friends who have come home to Nepal and been forced to migrate again) I would argue that remittance is probably the most effective and efficient way to support locally-driven and earthquake-safe reconstruction, as compared to institutionally managed programs that often require significant overhead and that do not adequately cover even half the average cost of construction. Therefore, cutting off remittance flows would likely compromise reconstruction efforts in migrant households at a critical moment.”
Pabitra Benjamin, Executive Director, Adhikaar, said, “While we work towards TPS renewal, Adhikaar is also working for a permanent solution for TPS holders. With termination of TPS for Haiti, El Salvador, Nicaragua, Sudan and others, we know it’s critical for Congress to act NOW to protect families who have been in this country for years if not decades. TPS holders have jobs, homes, businesses and are members of our community. They are individuals and families who contribute to our economy and for most part are Americans that live in the U.S. with temporary status.
“Adhikaar is supporting Congresswoman Velasquez’s American Promise Act of 2017 and Senator Van Hollen’s Safe Environment from Countries Under Repression and in Emergency (SECURE) Act in the Senate. We also stand behind Rep Clarke’s ASPIRE-TPS Act of 2017.”
Jennifer Ruddle, Staff Attorney, Catholic Legal Immigration Network Inc. (CLINIC), said, “It is critical for the TPS designation for Nepal to be extended, in light of the slow pace and numerous obstacles to reconstruction and recovery from the 2015 earthquake. These include civil unrest, government instability and devastating flooding that occurred just last summer. Our recent report, in partnership with Adhikaar: Rebuilding From Rubble: Why TPS is Needed for Nepal, documents that the humanitarian crisis in Nepal persists and that there is no possibility for Nepali TPS holders to safely return at this time.
“Under federal law, these conditions warrant continuation of TPS for Nepal. We join with other advocates in calling upon the Department of Homeland Security to extend TPS for Nepal and continue our nation’s long tradition of protecting the most vulnerable.”