It has been over three months since Typhoon Yolanda pummeled through the central part of the Philippines, leaving widespread loss of lives and damage to properties. Typhoon Haiyan and Yolanda affected more than 16 million Filipinos. Recovery and rebuilding efforts could take years.
Last December, the Philippines sent a request to the U.S. Department of State to designate the Philippines under Temporary Protected Status (TPS), a humanitarian relief that would allow Filipino nationals currently living in the United States to be able to work and stay here legally during the recovery period. It would also protect those who qualify from deportation.
But two months after the request was filed, TPS has not been granted to the Philippines. On February 6, a letter was sent to Secretary John Kerry asking for his support in the granting of TPS to Filipino nationals in the U.S. from 19 U.S. Senators including Senators Dean Heller and Harry Reid of Nevada. No word yet, on Kerry’s response.
From online petitions to private meetings with officials of various government agencies reviewing the TPS application, community leaders throughout the United States will tirelessly keep pushing for TPS to be granted.
American Immigration Lawyers Association’s member Rio Guerrero said. “We know we have allies in the Department of State who are pushing for TPS, we remain confident that it will be granted, and we’re working closely with the Philippine Embassy to get that accomplished.”