Filipinos continue push for TPS with townhall

By Steve Angeles, ABS-CBN North America Bureau

August 4, 2014

LOS ANGELES – It’s been nine months since Typhoon Yolanda – one of the world’s largest natural disasters – wreaked havoc in the central Philippines.

Since the request for temporary protected status, or TPS, was made by the Philippine government, it’s been the waiting game for the undocumented, Filipino advocates, and Filipinos in the typhoon-stricken regions.

“Jeh Johnson actually has been briefed and the decision is actually on his desk right now,” said Greg Cendana or the Asian Pacific American Labor Alliance. “So he has the ability with the stroke of a pen to grand TPS. So we’ve been continuing to urge him to work with our champions and allies to make that happen.”

Filipinos held a global conference discussing the status and the continued push for temporary protected status – the humanitarian aid that would temporarily grant work permits and stop deportations for certain immigrants during a time of calamity in their homelands.

For the undocumented in the US and those in the Philippines needing support, the wait has been frustrating.

“We’re still displaced,” said Valerie Ann Valiente of Ormoc, Leyte. “It’s hard to explain. It’s very hard to explain.”

An undocumented caregiver said, “Para sa lahat. Para ma tratrabajo mga Pilipino. Eto malaking tulong para sa Pilipinas.”

During Tacloban Mayor Alfred Romualdez’ recent California visit, he said that he supports the humanitarian aid, believing that hard-working Filipinos would be a big help not only for typhoon victims, but for US-based ones as well.

“I can speak for the Filipinos, and I’m proud of that if they do that,” said Mayor Romualdez . “Because I know Filipinos are very productive, and if you give them a chance, you give them a break, they will show now their productivity here in the community, here which should help everyone because it’s part of empowering them.”

Advocates say the granting of TPS is more urgent as the Philippine typhoon season draws near.

In some cases, such as the 2010 earthquake in Haiti, it took a second disaster to get the US to approve the original request.

“Hopefully we don’t have to wait for another big disaster to happen,” said Aqui Soriano Versoza of the Pilipino Workers Center. “Hopefully we can have it granted now so we can help protect those that are vulnerable.”

The Department of Homeland Security has yet to publicly give an update on the Philippines’ TPS request.

With TPS yet to be decided on, advocates will continue to push the issue with a series of actions, hoping that patience and perseverance will eventually pay off.

You can contact Steve Angeles at steve_angeles@abs-cbn.com for more information.

4 Comments on this post.

Leave a Reply

*

*

  • leyteboy
    4 August 2014 at 10:25 pm - Reply

    And don’t forget the tremors in Bohol and most recently typhoon Glenda. Our leaders could make a follow up requests but seems like too ecstatic about our “booming economy”. Can they really provide employment to those who will get deported. Hell fucking nooo.

  • leyteboy
    4 August 2014 at 10:29 pm - Reply

    And don’t forget the tremors in Bohol and most recently typhoon Glenda. Our leaders could make a follow up requests but seem like too ecstatic about our “booming economy”. Can they really provide employment to those who will get deported. Hell fucking nooo.

  • Mario
    5 August 2014 at 3:26 am - Reply

    78% on Hispanic, 18% for Asian(legal or illegal) rely on Welfare.Obama knew that Asians especially Filipinos, are smart, hard working,ambitious, but can not be trusted, because they become Republican voters, when they find out that their hard earned taxes are given to welfare, food stamps, Section 8. Therefore, TPS is hard to pass, only Pinoys immigration lawyers are trying to revived this issue,some had already collected so much from the illegals, trying to give them hope and to ask for more.

  • Enigma
    5 August 2014 at 9:48 am - Reply

    America and Americans are not under obligation to give TPS to Law Breakers.So, Deport , Deport Deport.

  • POPULAR POSTS