PRESS RELEASE: Franciscans Decry Administration’s Decision to end Temporary Protected Status for Nepal

For Immediate Release
April 26, 2018
Contact: Janine Walsh
FAN Communications Coordinator
(203) 685-1856 (cell)

Franciscans Decry Administration’s Decision to end Temporary Protected Status for Nepal

Washington, DC - The Franciscan Action Network (FAN) is deeply disappointed with the administration’s decision to terminate Temporary Protected Status (TPS) for nationals of Nepal.  TPS protects individuals and families who would otherwise be in harm’s way in their countries of origin and requires a careful assessment of country conditions.

Nepal was designated with TPS in June 2015 following a deadly 7.8 magnitude earthquake that displaced millions and destroyed 750,000 homes, 57,000 classrooms and 900 health care facilities. The earthquake struck less than 50 miles from the capital of Nepal, which is home to about 25% of Nepal’s entire population. Since the earthquake, the country has suffered from civil unrest and intervening natural disasters like catastrophic flooding that affected nearly all of Nepal’s southern border region in the summer of 2017. As people of faith, we believe in the dignity of all human life and denounce any decision to return people to conditions where their lives will be put in immediate danger.

“We cannot sit idly by while our sisters and brothers are returned to the very conditions that forced them from their homes,” states Sr. Maria Orlandini, OSF, FAN Director of Advocacy. “These actions run counter not only to our faith principles, but to humanitarian concerns and to America’s proclaimed commitment to ‘liberty and justice for all.’ Congress must now act to protect the people of Nepal because the administration has failed them.”

Congress can fix this by creating a permanent solution for Nepali TPS holders. They should get to work immediately. Instead of returning people to housing and food insecurity, lack of water, and inadequate access to health care, we urge Congress to work to provide an opportunity for TPS holders to apply to become permanent US residents.