Kathmandu, April 27
The United States Department of Homeland Security has cancelled temporary residency permits of some 9,000 immigrants from Nepal.
After assessing that the overall humanitarian situation in Nepal has stabilised since the devastating earthquake of April 2015, the US government has determined that Nepal is ready to graduate from its Temporary Protected Status designation, according to a statement issued today by the US embassy in Kathmandu.
DHS Secretary Kirstjen Nielsen announced her decision to conclude TPS designation for Nepal yesterday. The TPS for Nepal will now expire on June 24, 2019.
TPS is a temporary immigration status granted to eligible nationals of a country designated due to ongoing armed conflict, environmental disaster or other extraordinary and temporary conditions.
On June 24, 2015, the DHS had announced TPS for Nepalis in the US who had been displaced by the April 25 and May 12, 2015, earthquakes.
Following the 2015 earthquakes, the US took the lead among donors in its commitment to help Nepal recover and rebuild safely through $190 million grant assistance for earthquake relief, recovery and reconstruction assistance to date, read the statement.
“This assistance exceeded our initial pledge of $130 million made at the International Conference on Nepal’s Reconstruction in June 2015 and demonstrates the United States’ commitment to a long-term partnership with Nepal and is focused on investing in sustainable efforts to transform Nepal into a resilient, capable partner.”
Though nearly 15,000 Nepali migrants received TPS after the quake, only 9,000 or so remain in the country with that status, according to estimates by the Congressional Research Service. The Trump administration has also cancelled residency permits of 200,000 Salvadorans, 50,000 Haitians and a smaller number of Nicaraguans and Sudanese in recent months, according to the Washington Post.
Last week, 23 US senators forwarded a letter to acting Secretary of State John J Sullivan and DHS Secretary Nielsen, urging the administration to extend the TPS granted to Nepalis who were living in the US after the earthquake.
In the letter, they stated, “Even today, as 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 Nepali nationals in the United States would help the Nepali government focus limited resources on rebuilding efforts and prevent individuals from being returned to uncertain and unsafe conditions.”