Express Week

Jersey City Urges Department of Homeland Security to Grant TPS to Philippines

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JERSEY CITY, NJ -- The Jersey City Municipal Council unanimously passed resolution Res. 13.868 at its December 18th council meeting, urging the U.S. Department of Homeland Security to designate Temporary Protective Status (TPS) to the Philippines, in the wake of the devastation and aftermath of Typhoon Haiyan.   


Council President Rolando Lavarro introduced the resolution, in consultation with the Philippine Consulate and various immigration advocates.  The resolution was sent to Acting Secretary Rand Beers of the U.S. Department of Homeland Security, as well as New Jersey's Senate and Congressional representatives. 

A grant of TPS would allow Philippine nationals, currently residing in the United States, to continue residing in the country with temporary legal status, providing Filipinos protection from deportation, travel authorization, and the ability to work legally while in the U.S.  Under the provision 244(b) of the Immigration and Nationality Act, the Secretary of the United States Department of Homeland Security can designate, for a prescribed time period, a foreign state for special protection if a natural disaster prevents the state from being able to adequately handle the return of its nationals.  TPS was granted by the U.S. to Haiti nationals back in 2010 when a catastrophic earthquake hit the country, killing over 100,000 people. 

“This is the time to do the right thing and help those who have lost so much,” said Lavarro.  “This is not the time to send people back, to compound the challenges of a devastated country.” 

Jersey City is home to over 17,000 Filipinos, and typhoon relief efforts continue to take place in the community.  Various fundraising events - cocktails, concerts, haircuts, basketball league, zumbathon etc. – and relief goods collection immediately took place in Jersey City within a week or so of the landfall of the typhoon, and have continued to this day.

“Jersey City stands with the Filipino American community and the Philippines’ long road to rebuilding,” said Lavarro.  “I'm proud and humbled at how Jersey City, home to so many Filipinos, has responded to the humanitarian crisis.”


 Councilman Lavarro can be reached at  This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. , or on Facebook (Rolando Lavarro Jr.), and Twitter (@rlavarro).

The Filipino Express

2711 John F. Kennedy Boulevard
Jersey City, NJ 07306 USA.

Phone: 201 434-1114
Fax: 201 434-0880

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