CHICAGO (JGL) – United States Secretary of State John F. Kerry had reviewed and approved the final recommendation to transmit the request for Temporary Protective Status (TPS) to the U.S Secretary of Homeland Security Jeh Johnson, according to Filipino American Atty. Arnedo S. Valera.
Valera, co-director of the Migrant Heritage Commission (MHC) based in Fairfax, Virginia, said in an update Thursday (March 20) that he was informed by reliable sources in the U.S. Department of State in Washington, D.C. that Secretary Kerry had formally transmitted his favorable recommendation to grant TPS to Filipino nationals in the U.S. to Secretary Johnson.
Johnson is winding down his two-day trip Thursday (March 20) to Mexico where he met with Mexican President Enrique Peña Nieto and senior Mexican officials to discuss the ongoing partnership and cooperation between the United States and Mexico to ensure a safe and secure border region, which is critical to both nations’ economic competitiveness and national security.
Under the USC Code and the Immigration and Nationality Act, the US Department of Homeland Security is the agency authorized to make the final declaration and designation of a country under the TPS program.
With this development, MHC strongly urges all organizations, individuals and allies from different nationalities to shift the Call to Action to the U.S Department of Homeland Security and continue the political pressures for the final favorable outcome. The DHS listed telephone operator number is 202-282-8000. Callers can just ask their calls to be routed to office of Secretary Johnson.
PRESIDENT OBAMA TO VISIT PH NEXT MONTH
Valera said MHC remains positive that the coalition has laid down the legal, political and humanitarian basis for TPS designation of the Philippines. “We hope that a formal announcement be made prior to President Barack Obama’s scheduled late April visit to the Philippines to discuss several important geopolitical issues that will strengthen the bilateral relationship between the Philippines and the United States. The Fil-am community lauds this visit and hopefully it will be a summit meeting for the national interests of the respective countries.”
“To all of you who have made the TPS campaign as a collective effort showing unity and service to our Filipino Immigrant community since MHC initiated the TPS movement on November 11, 2013, three days of the Yolanda /Haiyan landfall, we salute your commitment and the pro bono resources you have spent on our unified campaign… MABUHAY PO TAYONG LAHAT! GOD BLESS OUR FIL-AM COMMUNITY!, added Valera. His co-executive directors of MHC are Grace-Valera Jaramillo and Jesse A. Gatchalian.
Earlier, the coalition rallied the community to call on March 27 US State Department at (202-647-6575) and urge US Secretary of State John Kerry to recommend TPS for the Philippines to the US Department of Homeland Security (DHS), according to a press release Wednesday (March 19) of Attorney Rodel Rodis, one of the leaders of the U.S. Pinoys For Good Governance (USP4GG).
Rodis said March 27 call for action was agreed upon by a coalition of Filipino American community groups in a national telephone conference call held on March 18 to discuss the status of the campaign to grant TPS to the Philippines, a move that may benefit as many as 500,000 Filipinos in the United States who are currently out of status.
He said Valera, whose MHC group initiated the call for TPS for the Philippines last November, reported that Philippine Desk Officer David Arulanantham at the US Department of State confirmed to him that a favorable recommendation is now with Secretary John Kerry, awaiting his review and signature.
“This positive development is the result of our community’s unified campaign to lobby the State Department,” said Loida Nicolas-Lewis, national chair of USP4GG, who moderated the March 18 national conference call.
“We must not let up now. We need to continue to lobby the US government until TPS is approved for the Philippines,” added Jon Melegrito, spokesman of the National Federation of Filipino American Associations (NaFFAA).
USP4GG Sets March 27 For TPS Phone Brigade