Immigrant Advocates and Nepali Groups Applaud Extension of Temporary Protected Status for Nepal

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

Press Contact: Anupa Gewali,  Main Phone: 718-937-1117,  E-mail: anupa@adhikaar.org

New York  (Wednesday, October 26, 2016)

On Tuesday, October 25th, the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) announced that it would extend the designation of temporary protected status (TPS) for Nepal by a period of 18 months from December 25th, 2016 through June 24th, 2018. The extension will allow eligible Nepali nationals to continue to live and work in the United States for this period of time and to continue to support their families and love ones who were victims of the devastating earthquake that hit Nepal in May of 2015.

The move came after a coalition of advocates, including the AdhikaarNew York Immigration Coalitionthe National Council of Asian Pacific Americans, American Immigration Lawyers Association pushed for the re-designation this month.

TPS is a temporary humanitarian benefit for people in the United States who are from a country that has suffered a national disaster or war. The designation allows beneficiaries to stay in the United States and legally work until they can safely return home. The re-designation will help thousands of Nepalis in the United States on temporary non-work authorized visas or who are undocumented obtain work permits – so they can work and help rebuild Nepal – as well as travel home to support their loved ones.

“More than 18 months after the massive earthquakes in Nepal, thousands are still living in dire conditions,” said Urvashi Kaul, Adhikaar Board Chair. “With TPS renewal, the Nepali community in the U.S. can continue to provide crucial support for friends and families back home. We would like to thank all individuals and organizations who supported this effort.”

The National Council of Asian Pacific Americans (NCAPA) National Director Christopher Kang said, “NCAPA commends The Department of Homeland Security for recognizing the urgent need to redesignate Temporary Protected Status for Nepal, as it continues recovering from such a devastating disaster. The Nepali community in the U.S. has benefited greatly from TPS, and the extension of 18 months will bring assistance to a community that has already gone through so much. Re-designation has had such strong and wide support from NCAPA and 14 of our national organization members.”

Steven Choi, executive director of New York Immigration Coalition said, “We thank Secretary Johnson and Department of Homeland Security for making this decision, which will have a significant impact on Nepalis living in the United States and working to rebuild their country. We are proud to have worked closely with local and national advocates to ensure that Nepali TPS was re-designated, and are truly privileged to support this resilient community in New York. We will continue to work with our partners to help Nepali immigrants receive the services they need to take full advantage of this opportunity.”

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Adhikaar, meaning “rights,” is a New York based women-led non-profit, organizing Nepali-speaking communities to take collective action against injustice through organizing, community education, grassroots advocacy and leadership development.