New York: Undocumented Filipina hangs on to hope for temporary protected status

By Don Tagala, ABS-CBN North America Bureau

Feb. 14, 2014

NEW YORK – It has been three months since Typhoon Yolanda pummeled through the central part of the Philippines, leaving widespread loss of lives and damage to properties, recovery and rebuilding efforts could take years.

Philippine Consul General in New York Mario De Leon said, “Typhoon Haiyan or Yolanda affected more than 16 million Filipinos.”

Last December, the Philippines sent a request to the US Department of State to designate the Philippines under Temporary Protected Status or TPS.

It’s a humanitarian relief that would allow Filipino Nationals currently living in the US to be able to work and stay in the here legally
during the recovery period. It would also protect those who qualify from deportation.

But two months after the request was filed, TPS has not been granted to the Philippines.

Leyte native Rosalina Cienello came to the US on a tourist visa in 1995.

After overstaying her visa, she has been working as a domestic worker in New York.

She said she lost her fully-furnished home and other properties in Leyte – her life savings gone after Yolanda devastated her hometown last November.

Cienello said, “Almost a million pesos—I have a mahogany plantation and a rice field. Now nothing.”

As the sole breadwinner of her family, Cienello says she is only one of the thousands of Filipinos who would benefit under the TPS designation of the Philippines.

“So I can work in peace, so I can focus on my job here without fearing that somebody will catch me,” she said. “So it will be a big help for everybody. We’re supporting families in the Philippines.”

“And now we’re talking about rehabilitation, we know that we can contribute, our families need our help just like in her story, now that the economy is down in those affected areas,” Linda Oalican of Damayan Immigrant Workers Association said. “The only hope of families suffering there right now are their families who are working here in the US.”

An advocate for TPS, Attorney JT Mallonga says the US Homeland Security is still studying the request in consultation with the Department of State.

“It’s so very discretionary, subjective—there’s no legal formula,” Mallonga said. “If they find that there are compelling, humanitarian extraordinary reasons to justify this because of displacement and loss of human lives, they will give it.”

From online petitions to private meetings with officials of various government agencies reviewing the TPS application – community leaders in the Northeast will tirelessly keep pushing for TPS to be granted.

“We’ve had positive developments over the last week to ten days,” American Immigration Lawyers Association’s member Rio Guerrero said. “We know we have allies in the Department of State who are pushing for TPS, we remain confident that it will be granted and we’re working closely with the Philippine Embassy to get that accomplished.”

You may contact Don Tagala at for more information.

27 Comments on this post.

Leave a Reply



  • mangkano
    14 February 2014 at 10:48 pm - Reply

    Was she in Tacloban during the storm? TPN is only for the benefit of immigration lawyers for more profit.

    • cat_idiot
      15 February 2014 at 8:55 am - Reply

      @mangkano, ask ko lang, kamag anak po kayo ni Delia?

  • mangkano
    14 February 2014 at 10:50 pm - Reply

    Since 1995 why wait until the last minute to fix your legal status?

    • Delia
      15 February 2014 at 10:55 am - Reply

      @mangkano, You can’t reason with Cat Idiot . Don’t try to explain yourself to stupid people. He is devoid of any logic or facts, it resorts to Argumentum Ad Hominem.

      • PAWS
        15 February 2014 at 11:38 am - Reply

        @Delia , i think AA can help you, go try to see them

        • Delia
          15 February 2014 at 11:54 am - Reply

          @PAWS, I think its quite the opposite , its you trolls needs the treatment , or just too drunk on koolaid .

  • cat_idiot
    15 February 2014 at 12:43 pm - Reply

    @Delia, iniwan po siguro kayo ng asawa nyo o kaya “PINDEHA” po kayo, bakit ganyan attitude nyo?

    • Delia
      15 February 2014 at 1:38 pm - Reply

      WOW – your credibility just got worse!

      • B Barker
        15 February 2014 at 1:53 pm - Reply

        are you credible yourself? please stay sober and practice safe sex…..take PAWS advise

        • Delia
          15 February 2014 at 2:06 pm - Reply

          As Usual , Filipinos are first class Ad Hominem . immaturity, trolling and Zealotry. You cowards need to fight and DEPFEND your country instead of fighting behind the computer.

          • B Barker
            15 February 2014 at 2:14 pm -

            we feel sorry for you, haters like you have no room in heaven or hell, Philipinos are nice and hard woking people just to let you know

          • cat_idiot
            15 February 2014 at 2:22 pm -

            @Delia, ang yabang nyo po naman, eh anak lang pala kayo ng GI sa Olangapo, “Pango” pa din ang lahi nyo

          • Delia
            15 February 2014 at 4:29 pm -

            Ha ha ha ! I feel so thrilled , Cat Idiot has to create multiple names to combat me , You need a balls and spine Cat Idiot , no matter how many names you bring here , its still you same person who has no bones.

            You are a mind numbed robot bigot ,If you don’t think you’re a bigot, look in the mirror !

          • Delia
            15 February 2014 at 4:56 pm -

            @Cat Idiot , ahhhhh thanks for letting me know where you came from , now i know your the master of low life scum . It show how disconnected you are from reality, the only thing you have at the back of your skull is filth .

      • cat_idiot
        15 February 2014 at 5:51 pm - Reply

        kawawa ka naman, uto-uto, pango ka pa din kahit anong gawin mo, asensado na Olongapo at Clark Air Base, lumingon ka sa pinangalingan mo

        • Delia
          15 February 2014 at 7:03 pm - Reply

          Cat Idiot , since you know too much of where the bases are , tell us how many GI’s your mother screws in one night . Did your Mc Daddy left you after mama got pregnant ?

          WHAT a waste of the space you are , sooooo stupid and incoherent gobbledygook. why don’t you try educating yourself vs spewing propaganda , Oh i forgot you have no brain , so wont expect nothing better from you .

          • cat_idiot
            16 February 2014 at 3:26 am -

            punta po kayo sa psychiatrist, sabihin nyo po ang lakas ng tama nyo, nag feeling KANO ka kamo since na naturalized ka dahil sa Tatay mong GI . hingi ka tulong sa Medicaid at Medicare , doblehin mo inom ng Abilify at untog mo ulo mo sa pader.

          • Delia
            16 February 2014 at 8:37 am -

            Cat Idiot is with his self righteous, victim ideology again .You sheeple have drunk that hemlock laces socialist liberal Kool-Aid too long now and what little brains you once had have become necrotic.All the signs are upon on and you continue to be the ostrich, you are drunk on socialist liberal Hemlock laced Kool-Aid oblivious to reality.

            All you do is play taqiyya , which is all muzzie’s tactics to decieve and deliberately, twisting words . Sounds like you are in denial and have been conditioned as a good little socialist .You are abandoned as an infant and craves attention no matter how negative things you say . You rather adept at making things up but gets confused and offers different accounts of what you deems reality is , Addled comes to mind.

            If your truly Catholics and Christians , Here is something i can offer you to read , maybe it will refresh your mind and take it to heart.

            (John 10:1: “Verily, verily, I say unto you, He that entereth not by the door into the sheepfold , but climbeth up some other way, the same is a thief and a robber.)

            Catholic relationship to the Democratic Socialist party of abortion, homosexual marriage, contraception, confiscatory taxation, removing God from the public square, as well as legalizing illegals as a political tool to permanent political hegemony. And It saddens me to say that while the Catholic doctrine is diametrically opposed to the modern Socialist Democrat party, there are few fundamentalist that as a block are as pro-Democrat as the Catholic clergy to affirm the contrary is dishonest.

            Democrat Socialist conveniently forget to “render unto Caesar, what is Caesar’s” and make convenient deals with the very devil trying to destroy them.

          • catholic_counter_capitalist
            17 February 2014 at 12:11 pm -

            The only Devil I see here trolling on BA is you and your cohort. You have nothing positive and nice things to say about your Filipino kababayans, your fellow Americans and people in general…

          • catholic_counter_capitalist
            17 February 2014 at 12:22 pm -

            @Delia…. in other words, your post says that you are and “IDIOT!”

  • Delia
    15 February 2014 at 4:37 pm - Reply

    @Barker , i have and idea for you , why dont you go under your moms skirt and Bark there , let her know how bad she raise you , you exposing her dirt away with your filthy arrogant atittude.

  • mangkano
    15 February 2014 at 11:00 pm - Reply

    When somebody cannot argue with reason they resort to name calling…and you call yourself Christian…mahiya ka naman

    • catholic_counter_capitalist
      17 February 2014 at 12:07 pm - Reply

      @mangkano… Tell that to your auntie Delia and teach her to be Christian.

  • catholic_counter_capitalist
    17 February 2014 at 11:58 am - Reply

    @Delia… Those comments from Cat_Idiot are not endorsed by me Catholic_Counter_Capitalist/Capitalist_against_extremerightwingnuts… Who ever that is must really be an IDIOT!

    • cat_idiot
      18 February 2014 at 4:48 pm - Reply

      hello, excuse me….i dont need endorsement from anyone, OK, just to let u know that i am Delia’s wildest imagination and fear, she created me as her horror shadow in every corner of her brain, so dont ever call me an idiot………oh btw, mangkano is Delia’s uncle ha……hmmmmm, hope u guys are from the Bay Area too….im looking forward to meet u all

      • DOG_IDIOT
        19 February 2014 at 12:16 pm - Reply

        LOL! woof! woof! woof! woof!

  • catholic_counter_capitalist
    17 February 2014 at 12:06 pm - Reply

    John 14:6…….. ““I am the way and the truth and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me.”

    @Delia… Someone who imitates me would not have the balls and authority 😉 to use religion and inspirational quotes….