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9,000 Nepalese Immigrants Will Lose Temporary Protected Status

The Washington Post reported that 9,000 Nepalese immigrants who came to this country and were granted Temporary Protected Status (TPS), after their home country was ravaged by an earthquake three years ago, will have their protections terminated.

On April 25, the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) announced that the foreign nationals’ protections were lifted after it was determined that conditions in Nepal have improved since the earthquake occurred. “[T]he Secretary [Kirstjen Nielsen] determined that the disruption of living conditions in Nepal from the April 2015 earthquake and substantial aftershocks that served as the basis for its TPS designation have decreased to a degree that they should no longer be regarded as substantial, and Nepal can now adequately manage the return of its nationals,” the DHS stated.

The Post reported that, on April 25, 2015 — three years to the day that the DHS announced the termination of TPS for the Nepalese immigrants — an earthquake hit Nepal with a magnitude of 7.8, killing approximately 9,000 people. Approximately 15,000 Nepalis received protections, but 9,000 still stayed in the country, many of whom reside in New York City.

DHS Secretary Nielsen announced that the Nepalis will receive a one-year grace period to allow those with TPS to prepare to return home or to obtain legal immigration status. The termination of TPS becomes effective on June 24, 2019.

This decision is different from what the DHS has done in the past with other countries. The DHS allowed 7,000 Syrians to stay here for 18 more months and allowed Salvadorans with TPS to re-register and update their employment documents.

If you are a Nepali in the TPS program and are concerned about the possibility of removal, it is important to consult with an experienced New York City immigration lawyer. The New York immigration attorneys at Bretz & Coven, LLP have a long history of zealous, knowledgeable, and honest advocacy on behalf of immigrants. To schedule your consultation, contact our immigration lawyers today at (212) 267-2555 or fill out our contact form.

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