Meng, Crowley Call on Federal Government to Grant Temporary Protected Status to Nepali Nationals in Wake of Devastating Earthquake
Today, 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 that in the wake of Nepal’s devastating earthquake, they are leading dozens of House members in a letter urging Department of Homeland Security Secretary Jeh Johnson and Secretary of State John Kerry to grant Temporary Protected Status (TPS) to Nepali nationals currently residing in the United States, so that they are not forced to return home to harmful and unsafe conditions. Crowley and Meng are cosponsors of legislation to grant TPS to Nepali nationals.
“As the people of Nepal continue to mourn the lives lost and struggle to recover from this terrible tragedy, our nation must continue its tradition of humanitarian support by granting TPS to Nepalis currently in our country,” said Rep. Crowley, whose district includes a growing Nepali population. “This will allow those residing in Queens and in communities across the country to remain here until the Nepali government is better suited to handle their return. This will allow the government, public safety officials, and rescue forces to focus on their critical work. In the aftermath of a catastrophe of this magnitude, we need to step forward and do all we can to help Nepal and its people get back on their feet.”
“The tragedy in Nepal is heartbreaking and everybody impacted by this terrible disaster remains in our thoughts and prayers,” said Rep. Meng. “Although the country is working to recover, it is obviously not safe for Nepalese citizens in the U.S. to return home. That’s why we must not force them to go back to the dangerous and disastrous conditions in their country until it is safe to do so. I urge Secretary Johnson and Secretary Kerry to grant Temporary Protected Status as quickly possible”
“Due to the continuing aftershocks, many remaining buildings have collapsed or become uninhabitable,” said Luna Ranjit, executive director of Adhikaar, a local non-profit organization that works with New York’s Nepali community. “Many, many families, including my own, are unable to go back to their homes and are living in tents and cars in spite of the heavy rains. The Nepali community in the US has come together to help our country to the best of our ability. TPS would allow us to focus our energy on the much-needed relief and recovery efforts.”
Under The Immigration and Nationality Act, the Department of Homeland Security has the authority to designate a foreign country for TPS, which allows those temporarily in the U.S. to stay for a longer period of time if they are unable to safely return to their home country due to an ongoing armed conflict, an environmental disaster, or other extraordinary and temporary conditions.