Adhikaar – Nepal remains unsafe for return due to the continuing effects of the 2015 earthquake along with the current impacts of COVID-19 and recent flooding. There are approximately 10,160 Nepali TPS holders, but currently, TPS only applies to those who have been in the United States until June 24, 2015.
This is why we request for redesignation of TPS for Nepal. The Department of Homeland Security must redesignate Nepal, which could allow anyone who has fled conditions back home in Nepal and come to the United States until now, to apply for TPS (meaning 36,795+ additional people could be eligible for TPS if we win redesignation).
Not only is Nepal unsafe for return due to the continuing effects of a devastating earthquake, the ongoing political instability, and catastrophic flooding in 2017 have widened the cracks in Nepal’s infrastructure, leaving the country vulnerable to economic, political, and societal shocks.
After nearly 10 years of political turmoil after the overthrow of absolute monarchy, Nepal had finally managed to adopt a new constitution in 2015; however, Nepal has seen four different governments in the six years since then, and the instability continues – just on July 12, 2021, the Supreme Court of Nepal has ordered the reinstatement of the parliament and the change of government after months of infighting between various political parties.
Just this May, while some countries were on their way to COVID-19 recovery, Nepal hit its peak infection rate. The lack of health resources like beds and oxygen tanks has further exacerbated the issue. Health officials reported an incredible daily positivity rate of 50 percent, with infections rising from 150 people per day to over 9,300 per day in one month. Additionally, more recent flooding extreme monsoon rains and landslides across the country have displaced entire communities.
Redesignation would not just benefit TPS holders, it would also benefit U.S. citizens and the United States as a whole. Extending TPS to thousands of Nepalis also protects thousands of U.S.-citizen children of Nepali TPS holders and prevents family separation. Current Nepali TPS holders have worked on the frontlines during the pandemic as doctors, nurses, health aides, grocery store clerks, restaurant workers, and package delivery personnel, keeping our country running, safe and healthy.
The humanitarian crisis in Nepal persists, and there is no possibility for these hardworking, essential Nepali immigrants to safely return at this time. Nepal is in no condition to receive the return of over 36,000 Nepalis and their families living in the United States. DHS Secretary Mayorkas must redesignate Nepal for TPS and extend vital humanitarian protection to those who need it.
In addition to Nepal, we encourage DHS to conduct a review for redesignation of all other countries currently with TPS protections.