LOS ANGELES (April 3, 2014) — At the urging of community members and organizations, Councilmember Mitch O’Farrell of Council District 13 authored a resolution to support the granting of Temporary Protected Status (TPS) for the Philippines, in the wake of the unprecedented devastation wrought by Typhoon Haiyan in November 2013.
Yesterday, the Los Angeles City Council heard testimony and approved this resolution. Los Angeles is now the third major city to sign a resolution for TPS, after New York City and San Francisco. The resolution also follows on the heels of a letter of support issued by Los Angeles City Mayor Eric Garcetti last week.
Councilmember O’Farrell stated, “It would be irresponsible to deport those Philippine nationals back to their native country which has limited resources after Super Typhoon Haiyan delivered such a devastating blow. This resolution puts our city on record, and shows we stand with our Filipino community, to urge the federal government to issue Temporary Protected Status to the Philippines. This action will halt the deportation of Philippine nationals, regardless of immigration status, and allow Filipinos here in the U.S. to assist in recovery efforts. I want to thank the Pilipino Workers Center, which has headquarters in my district, for spearheading the movement for granting TPS for the Philippines.”
“The Relief 2 Recovery coalition applauds the passing of the Los Angeles resolution in support of granting Temporary Protected Status to the Philippines. TPS plays an important role in promoting the long-term recovery of the Philippines, in assisting in relief and recovery efforts and empowering Filipinos here to increase their capacity for helping this effort,” states Anthony Ng of Asian Americans Advancing Justice – Los Angeles.
Association of Filipino Workers member Lourdes Pablo relates her own personal story: “My brothers and their families had their houses completely destroyed. I have been sending back money to help with medicines they need, for food and other basic needs. Their livelihoods were destroyed and there has been no aid to help them rebuild because they were not in the area that is receiving the aid. But their houses and schools were also destroyed. TPS will help me to help them.”
It has been about five months since the tragedy struck and about four months since the request for TPS was made by the Philippine government to the Department of Homeland Security (DHS). DHS now has the completed recommendation on the matter from the State Department. The contents of the State Department recommendations have not been made public, reserving for DHS final discretion on the decision whether or not to designate the Philippines for TPS. Around the country, hundreds of organizations and thousands of individuals continue to urge DHS to make a favorable decision, emphasizing that the human suffering in the Philippines continues.
The Relief 2 Recovery coalition is calling on all concerned people to continue telephoning, writing, emailing, and tweeting to the Department of Homeland Security to urge them to grant TPS for the Philippines.
Asian Americans Advancing Justice – Los Angeles is the nation’s largest Asian American, Native Hawaiian and Pacific Islander (AANHPI) legal and civil rights organization and serves more than 15,000 individuals and organizations every year. Founded in 1983 as the Asian Pacific American Legal Center, Advancing Justice – LA’s mission is to advocate for civil rights, provide legal services and education, and build coalitions to positively influence and impact Asian Americans and Pacific Islanders and to create a more equitable and harmonious society. Through direct legal services, impact litigation, policy analysis and advocacy, leadership development and capacity building, Advancing Justice – LA seeks to serve the most vulnerable members of the AANHPI community while also building a strong AANHPI voice for civil rights and social justice.