NEW YORK (TIP): U.S. Reps. Joe Crowley (D-Queens, the Bronx), Vice Chair of the Democratic Caucus, and Grace Meng (D-Queens), a member of the House Foreign Affairs Committee and its Subcommittee on Asia and the Pacific, announced, June 24, that in the wake of the devastating earthquake in Nepal, the United States government is granting Temporary Protected Status (TPS) to Nepalese nationals presently in the U.S.
The move protects citizens of Nepal from deportation or detainment so that they are not forced to return to dangerous and unsafe conditions that the earthquake caused in their country. The decision comes after Crowley and Meng led dozens of Congress members in a letter urging Homeland Security Secretary Jeh Johnson and Secretary of State John Kerry to grant TPS to Nepalese nationals.
“As the people of Nepal continue to mourn the lives lost and struggle to recover from this terrible tragedy, I’m proud our nation will continue its tradition of humanitarian support by granting TPS to Nepalis currently in our country,” said Crowley. “This is a critical step that will allow those in Queens and in communities across the country to remain here until the Nepali government is better suited to handle their return, thus helping Nepal’s government focus on their important recovery efforts.”
“My heart continues to ache for all those impacted by the terrible tragedy in Nepal,” said Meng. “Allowing citizens of Nepal who are in Queens and throughout the nation to remain in the U.S. until it’s safe to return is the right and decent thing to do, and I thank Secretary Johnson and Secretary Kerry for being responsive to our request. As Nepal continues to recover, the U.S. and international community must continue to assist the country with needed relief efforts.” Watch Meng call for TPS during a recent Foreign Affairs Committee hearing:
“The Nepali community in the U.S. is relieved that we don’t have to worry about our visas. We can now focus on supporting our friends and families back home and contribute towards rebuilding our homeland,” said Luna Ranjit, Executive Director of Adhikaar. “We would like to thank Congressman Crowley and Congresswoman Meng for visiting us and listening to our stories, and pushing for TPS for Nepal.”
Under the Immigration and Nationality Act, the U.S. can provide TPS when conditions in a country prevent its citizens from returning safely such as natural disaster, civil war, or other extraordinary and temporary conditions.
In order to qualify for TPS, applicants must have been continuously present in the U.S. since June 24, 2015. TPS will be in place for 18 months, until December 24, 2016. Applicants must apply for this status by December 21, 2015.
For more information on TPS, including guidance on the application process and additional information on eligibility, please visit the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) TPS website