US senators lobby for TPS extension of Nepali nationals
April 17, 2018 11:32 AM NPT
United States, April 17: Twenty three senators have signed a petition urging the United States administration to extend the Temporary Protected Status (TPS) designation granted to Nepalis living in the country after the devastating April 2015 earthquake. At present, 8,000 Nepalis are under TPS which expires on June 24, 2018.
The petition filed by Mazie K Hirono, senator from the Democrats received support from 22 others. Shortly after the earthquake, 12 U.S. Senators signed a letter requesting a TPS designation for Nepalis and a designation was promptly granted. “As Nepal continues to rebuild, we request an immediate extension of the current designation, which expires on June 24, 2018,” the petition reads.
“Even today the country works to rebuild its infrastructure and restore housing to previous levels, the situation remains perilous. As recently as last summer, more than two-thirds of those affected were still living in temporary shelters. An extension of the TPS designation for Nepalese nationals in the United States would help the Nepalese government focus limited resources on rebuilding efforts and prevent individuals from being returned to uncertain and unsafe conditions,” according to the petition.
TPS is designed to grant protection for foreign nationals living in the United States when extraordinary circumstances make it difficult for them to return to their home countries. Current law dictates that TPS may be granted when there are, “conditions in the foreign state that prevent… nationals of the state from returning to the state in safety.”
In addition, the letter argues that an extension of TPS would help the Nepal’s government restore housing, safety, and stability to its people.
Nepalese nationals in the United States are living in a state of uncertainty, not knowing whether they will be forced to return to an unsafe situation in their home country. We urge you to extend the TPS designation for Nepal and allow these nationals to remain in the United States until the conditions in their home country are further improved.