Washington (AFP) – Around 9,000 Nepalis allowed to remain in the United States since the devastating April 2015 earthquake will lose their protected status in June next year, the government said Thursday.
The Department of Homeland Security (DHS) said a review of conditions in Nepal since the disaster showed they have improved and no longer support the “temporary protected status” (TPS) given to Nepalis.
“Since the 2015 earthquake, conditions in Nepal have notably improved. Additionally, since the last review of the country’s conditions in October 2016, Nepal has made substantial progress in post-earthquake recovery and reconstruction,” DHS Secretary Kirstjen Nielsen said in a statement.
As a result, “Nepal can now adequately manage the return of its nationals.”
Nepalis with TPS have until June 24, 2019 to return.
As part of its crackdown on illegal immigration, the administration of US President Donald Trump has been reviewing, and mostly cancelling, TPS programs for people of several nationalities allowed to remain in the country over long periods while their own homelands wrestled with disaster recovery.
In January around 200,000 Salvadorans were given an 18 month warning that they would lose protected status in place since the country was hit by two massive earthquakes.
And in November last year around 59,000 Haitians permitted to stay since the Caribbean island’s 2010 earthquake were told they would have to leave in 18 months.
TPS is also ending for Nicaragua and Sudan, while protections for South Sudanese immigrants have been extended until May 2019.
Other countries still under review include Honduras, Syria and Yemen.