By Don Tagala, ABS-CBN North America Bureau

Dec. 18, 2013

NEW YORK – A few days after Philippine Ambassador to the US Jose Cuisia Jr. requested the Department of Homeland Security to grant Temporary Protected Status designation for the Philippines, the New York City Council’s immigration committee held a hearing on resolution 2057, calling on the federal government to approve immigration relief that allows Filipinos with expiring or expired visas to temporarily stay and work in the U.S. while the Philippines recovers from Typhoon Yolanda’s devastation.

“So that Filipinos living in the country at the time of November’s incredibly damaging typhoon last month can remain in this country and work without fear of deportation,” Council Member Daniel Dromm, Chair NYC Council Committee on Immigration, said.

FilAm immigration lawyer, Attorney Rio Guerrero testified before the New York City Council on why the US should come to the aid of its strongest ally in Asia and why passing a city resolution would help the cause.

“This should help because the DHS wants to see that there is comprehensive support across the country for TPS for the Philippines,” Guererro said. “The more voices that are heard on this issue and support for temporary protected status for the Philippines can only help hasten the decision of the
Department of Homeland Security. Were very confident that were going to get TPS for the Philippines soon.”

As the Philippines waits for an answer from the US government on TPS, community leaders say kababayans should call on their local and national leaders to speed up its passage.

“They can call their congressional leaders, ask them to support us,” Attorney Merit Salud of the Filipino American Legal Defense and Education Fund (FALDEF) and NAFFAA said.

“The bottom line here is this is not a legal issue, it’s not a political issue,” FALDEF’s JT Mallonga said. “TPS is a humanitarian issue. So I believe that for the sake of our country’s economy, for the sake of millions of Filipinos who can benefit from this, we need TPS.”

Guerrero warns kababayans that TPS-eligible Filipino nationals cannot file any applications until the USCIS or DHS officially designates temporary protected status to the Philippines.

“What people should do if they believe they would be eligible for this is start to gather their documents and their information with respect to their immigration history,” Guerrero said. “Stay away from individuals that may take advantage of them. There’s high incidence of notarial fraud, individuals are trying to take advantage of immigrants whenever something like this happens.”

Although the New York City Council on Immigration passed the resolution on a committee level, resolution 2057 is up for a full vote by the whole council on Thursday.

You may contact Don Tagala at for more information.

2 Comments on this post.

Leave a Reply



  • Catalina Baltazar
    19 December 2013 at 12:04 pm - Reply

    Hoping & pray that the TPS will be approved for the benefit of families affected by typhoon Yolanda (Haiyan)

    19 December 2013 at 5:07 pm - Reply

    They should check case-to-case before they approve TPS to anyone with expiring or expired visas to stay and work in the u.s.