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HIAS Decries End of TPS for Nepali Nationals
SILVER SPRING, Md.—On Thursday, April 26, the Trump Administration announced the termination of Temporary Protected Status (TPS) for 9,000 Nepalis living in the U.S. The designation will officially terminate on June 24, 2019. TPS is a temporary humanitarian status that allows individuals to continue living and working in the United States if the U.S. government determines that natural disaster or armed conflict has made return to their country unsafe or could affect the country’s recovery. The U.S. government granted TPS status to Nepalis who were living in the U.S. in 2015 when a devastating earthquake left an estimated 9,000 dead and thousands more homeless in Nepal.
Following today’s decision by the Administration, Melanie Nezer, Senior Vice President of Public Affairs at HIAS, said: “The Administration’s decision, one of many abrupt TPS terminations over the past year, is short-sighted and creates needless hardship for thousands of people and a country still struggling to recover from disaster. If forced to return, these individuals will face homelessness, and in some cases, lack of access to clean water and food.”
The Nepali government is not equipped to handle thousands of Nepali TPS holders returning home. In 2017, Nepal was hit with devastating flooding and landslides which affected more than 1.7 million people. This has only slowed the recovery in Nepal. Although some progress has been made to reconstruct the country, it is estimated that 30 percent of Nepal’s critical infrastructure is still in ruins and more than two-thirds of families who lost their homes are still living in temporary shelters.