WASHINGTON, D.C. (The Adobo Chronicles®) – The U.S. Department of Homeland Security has designated the Philippines for Temporary Protective Status (TPS) for a period of 12 months, effective July 1, 2015 until the new elected Philippine president takes office next year.
Under section 244(b)(1)(B) of the Immigration and Nationality Act (INA), 8 U.S.C. 1254a(b)(1)(B), the Secretary of Homeland Security is authorized to designate a foreign state (or any part thereof) for TPS upon finding that the foreign state has experienced events or situations resulting in a substantial, but temporary, disruption of living conditions.
A similar status was just granted to Nepal which recently experienced a massive, devastating earthquake.
A TPS means that nationals from the desginated country who are in the U.S. illegally will be temporarily immune from deportation and are eligible to apply for work authorization or travel permit. While it does not automatically give them a permanent resident status, they are allowed to apply for a green card – if they qualify – once the period of TPS expires.
The TPS for the Philippines was based on extreme devastating living conditions in the country resulting from widespread political curruption and inefficiency of the Aquino administration. The Department of Homeland Security cited massive unemployment, high crime rate, lack of affordable housing, rising food prices, overcrowding in Metro Manila and other urban areas, and the nightmarish traffic conditions exacerbated by mismanagement of MRT, Metro Manila’s light railway system. This is not to mention that majority of politicians now in office are linked to graft, corruption or plunder cases.
All these conditions are expected to significantly improve once Aquino steps down at the end of his presidential term in 2016.