November 18, 2013
Continued deportations would further destabilize the nation
TPS would allow Philippine citizens to send remittances and aid in the recovery
Half a million homes destroyed, thousands of casualties caused by Typhoon Haiyan
WASHINGTON—The chairman of the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops (USCCB) Committee on Migration urged the Department of Homeland Security and the White House to grant Temporary Protected Status (TPS) to Philippine citizens residing in the United States in light of the devastation and disruption of living conditions caused recently by Typhoon Haiyan.
“Given the widespread loss of life and property caused by Typhoon Haiyan, in our view the Philippines warrants an immediate grant of TPS,” wrote Bishop Eusebio Elizondo, M.Sp.S., auxiliary bishop of Seattle and chairman of the Committee. “Although DHS can take other limited actions to assist this population, they are insufficient compared to the magnitude of this disaster.”
The USCCB has a long history of serving the Philippine community in the United States and abroad through Catholic Relief Services (CRS).
It is reported that about half a million people lost their homes, at least 4,460 deaths have been confirmed with more anticipated and 11.8 million people have been impacted, with 3.6 million in the direct line of the storm.
TPS allows citizens of the designated country to reside legally in the United States with work authorization. It is based in part by a determination that an earthquake or other natural disaster creates a substantial temporary disruption such that the deportation of that country citizens from the United States would further destabilize the nation or bring them harm.
“The designation of TPS would ensure that nationals of the country currently residing in the United States are able to work and to send remittances back to their families, thus helping aid the recovery,” Bishop Elizondo wrote. “It also would protect them from deportation to a nation that, for the time being, is unable to assist them in their reintegration.”
The full text of the letter addressed to Rand Beers, acting secretary of the Department of Homeland Security, Denis McDonough, chief of staff at The White House and to Secretary of State John Kerry, is available online at: cms.usccb.org/about/migration-policy/upload/1642_Philippine_TPS-2.pdf
Keywords: USCCB, U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops, Bishop Eusebio Elizondo, Philippines Committee on Migration, Catholic Relief Service, CRS, Temporary Protected Status, TPS, Typhoon Haiyan, Department of Homeland Security, Committee on Migration
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