Senators Chuck Shumer and MAzie Hirono urge DHS to grant TPS to Nepalese nationals.
Temporary Benefit Would Help Nepalese—Who Through No Fault Of Own—May Be in Danger Of Visa Overstays, Even Deportation; TPS Has Been Used In Past For Countries In Wake Of Natural Disaster
Schumer: As Their Homeland Struggles From Once-In-A-Lifetime Disaster, Nepalese Across New York City Deserve TPS During Crisis.
The text of the letter appears below:
Dear Secretaries Johnson and Kerry,
In light of the tremendous devastation suffered by Nepal as a result of the recent earthquake, we write to request that you grant Temporary Protected Status to eligible Nepalese nationals living in the United States. As of today, 6,253 have reportedly died and thousands more were injured in this natural disaster.
As you know, the earthquake in Nepal has destroyed large swaths of the country, from the capital of Kathmandu to the rural areas, and caused tragic loss of life. It is reportedly the most powerful to strike Nepal since 1934, causing casualties even in neighboring countries. Avalanches triggered on Mount Everest killed locals and visitors, including Americans. Ancient buildings at the core of Nepal’s heritage were destroyed, and the nation is in mourning. Even now, the country could experience deadly aftershocks and landslides.
Almost all local resources are focused on recovery, addressing food and water shortages, and preventing the spread of disease. You have already shown tremendous leadership in this effort by sending immediate aid from the United States, together with our international partners. But Nepal’s task is now to rebuild a country that was already struggling with civil unrest.
Meanwhile, tens of thousands of Nepalese people are living in the United States, including in our home states of New York and Hawaii. Now is not the time to send them back, as their country is devastated and clearly not in a position to receive them.
Temporary Protected Status (TPS) was created for precisely this reason – to offer temporary, humane protection to foreign nationals living in the U.S. when extraordinary conditions make it impossible for them to return home. We believe the widespread damage and destruction in Nepal make these people eligible for TPS designation, and we urge you to swiftly consider it.
TPS has been granted in the past in similar circumstances, and we believe this is the safest route to avoid further burdening the Nepalese government in this time of severe distress. Current law already provides strict eligibility criteria to protect our national security, such as excluding criminals from this designation. TPS is not a pathway to citizenship, nor is it a means for bringing over relatives. When the TPS designation of a country is terminated, those foreign nationals revert to the immigration status they held before the designation was granted.
In short, TPS is a temporary, humane, compassionate response that the U.S. can make in addition to all the other assistance we are providing in the region. We must assist the victims of this natural disaster. Thank you for your consideration.
Charles E. Schumer
United States Senator
Mazie K. Hirono
United States Senator
Read the entire Press Release here
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