Typhoon Haiyan struck the Philippines in November with devastating consequences to the country. With over 5,600 Filipinos dead and almost 28,000 injured or missing, the nation remains in a state of devastation as rebuilding and relief efforts begin. For the 500,000 Filipino immigrants residing in the United States as undocumented immigrants or as immigrants on short-term visas, Typhoon Haiyan also may have a significant impact on their immigration status. A nationwide campaign to have Filipino immigrants granted “temporary protected status” is gaining momentum.
“Temporary protected status” is a designation that can be granted by the U.S. President in conjunction with the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) in circumstances where an armed conflict or environmental disaster temporary prevents a country’s nationals from safely returning to their home country. A designation of “temporary protected status” will allow eligible immigrants, including many undocumented immigrants, immigrants with expired visas, and immigrants on short term visas, to get work authorization and deportation protection for up to eighteen months. Immigrants with “temporary protected status” may also send support, including monetary relief, back to their home country. Under certain circumstances, immigrants with “temporary protected status” may also travel outside the United States to return to their home country to visit sick family members, bury relatives and work on relief efforts.
Among the many Filipino immigration advocacy groups leading the national effort to obtain “temporary protected status” are: the National Federation of Filipino-American Associations, the Philippine Community of Southern New Jersey, the Kapitbayan Philippine American Association of Chester County, the Philadelphia Filipino Folk Arts Society, the Philippine Medical Society Group of Greater Philadelphia and the Filipino-American Associations of Philadelphia, Bucks County and Central Pennsylvania.
In the past, President Obama and the DHS have granted “temporary protected status” to Haitians following the Haiti earthquake in 2010 and to Syrians in light of their ongoing civil war. Philippine President Beningo Aquino III formally requested “temporary protected status” for Filipino immigrants at the end of December. A response from President Obama is expected any day now.
Of the 500,000 Filipino immigrants currently residing in the United States who would be affected if President Obama grants the “temporary protected status” designation, a large number reside in Southeastern Pennsylvania or New Jersey. Currently, over 21,000 Filipino immigrants are located in this part of the country.
The Philadelphia Immigration Lawyers at Surin & Griffin, P.C. Handle all Filipino Immigration Matters
The granting of “temporary protected status” will drastically change the lives of Filipino immigrants. If you or a loved one will be affected by the change in the Filipino immigration status, you need an experienced Philadelphia immigration lawyer to guide you through the complex immigration process. The dedicated Philadelphia immigration attorneys at Surin & Griffin, P.C. are here to assist you in all your immigration law needs. Our attorneys handle all types of immigration matters, including those related to deportation, asylum, employment, visas, the labor certification process and abuse petitions. The Philadelphia immigration law firm of Surin & Griffin, P.C. is conveniently located in Center City Philadelphia. Call our attorneys today at (215) 925-4435 or contact us online to schedule a consultation.