Pinoys step up pressure on US gov't to grant TPS

by Steve Angeles, ABS-CBN North America Bureau

Posted at Feb 10 2014 11:04 AM | Updated as of Feb 10 2014 10:58 PM

LOS ANGELES - Filipinos from around the US flooded the phone lines of the Department of Homeland Security and the US State Department, asking for the US government to grant temporary protected status (TPS) to Filipinos in the US.

TPS would spare some undocumented Filipinos from deportation and grant them work permits so they can help their families in typhoon-hit regions in the Philippines.

"(TPS) would be a great help directly helping the Philippines in its rebuilding effort to help the people in Tacloban by sending more remittances," a caregiver said.

It has been 3 months since typhoon Yolanda hit. Advocates met with the DHS and the State department this month.

They are hoping that this week, a decision on TPS will finally be made.

"In our delegation where we talked directly with the Department of Homeland Security they did tell us they didn't want this to go on for a long time. They wanted to have a quick resolution, and it takes a while because it's D.C. so it has to go through the bureaucracy. We also are talking to the DHS. They said it's very close," Aqui Soriano Versoza of the Pilipino Workers Center said.

As they called the DHS and the US State Department, Filipinos from across the country, including those who have done relief operations in typhoon-ravaged areas, joined the call of action, stressing the importance of TPS.

"The easiest way is to send money fast. There are so many challenges for our containers to arrive physically to the port of Tacloban," Versoza said.

Throughout the week, the relief-to-recovery coalition plans on visiting Congress members' offices this week nationwide, asking them to put pressure on the DHS and State department to grant the humanitarian aid.

While the rebuilding and funds continue...some Filipinos say they won't feel the recovery until Filipinos in the US especially those working without legal status are granted TPS. Los Angeles.