Temporary Protected Status (TPS) for 9,000 Nepalis nationals who have been living in the United States since 2015 will terminate as of June 24, 2019.
The Secretary of DHS Kirstjen Neilsen stated, “[T]he disruption of living conditions in Nepal from the April 2015 earthquake and subsequent 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 . . . .” She further explained that TPS is being terminated because the “originating conditions” no longer exist.
Nepal was struck by a 7.8 magnitude earthquake in June 2015. There were a series of significant aftershocks. It was reported that 9,000 people died, 22,000 were injured, and more than 755,000 homes were destroyed.
In March 2018, the Catholic Legal Immigration Network (CLINIC) recommended to DHS another TPS extension for Nepal because the massive infrastructure damage caused by the earthquake had not yet been repaired. CLINIC noted that subsequent natural disasters (floods and landslides) have delayed the recovery, that 15 percent of Nepalis living in Nepal rely on money sent to them by relatives living in the United States in TPS status, and that Nepal was in no position to reabsorb 9,000 nationals at this time.
The termination of TPS for Nepal is just another in the list of countries that have lost protected status during the Trump Administration including Guinea, Sierra Leone, El Salvador, Haiti, Nicaragua, Sudan, and Liberia (Deferred Enforced Departure). A decision about whether to terminate TPS for Honduras is expected in early May. The only countries currently remaining on the list that have not been given termination dates are Somalia, Syria, South Sudan, and Yemen.
Nepali citizens currently in TPS status will be able to re-register and extend their EADs until June 24, 2019. Details about this process and the re-registration period will be published in the Federal Register. Nepalis should not submit re-registration applications until after that announcement appears.