ADEEB MEDIA – USA
Pakistani-Americans Request TPS for All Eligible Citizens of Pakistan in the USA
(AdeebMedia.com – Special Report) – Thousands of Pakistani-Americans – who are members and supporters of the Pakistan TPS Action Committee (PTAC) based in Washington DC, New York, Chicago, Boston, Houston, Los Angeles and many other cities & counties of the United States of America (USA) – have requested the US Secretary of Homeland Security, Janet Napolitano, to designate Pakistan for Temporary Protected Status (TPS) and urged the US Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) to grant TPS to all eligible citizens/nationals of Pakistan who are now living in the USA. They have held several rallies under the PTAC banner at the White House & Pakistan Embassy in DC, Pakistan Consulate General in NY and elsewhere across America to obtain the US TPS for Pakistanis. The PTAC is led by its Chairman, Attorney-at-Law Saleem S. Rizvi, who practices law in New York. Pakistan USA Freedom Forum (PUFF) General Secretary Shahid Comrade is an active Member of the PTAC in NY. Community activist Shahzad Chaudhry is the PTAC Washington DC Coordinator.
A document of the USCIS states: “The Secretary of Homeland Security may designate a foreign country for TPS due to conditions in the country that temporarily prevent the country’s nationals from returning safely, or in certain circumstances, where the country is unable to handle the return of its nationals adequately. USCIS may grant TPS to eligible nationals of certain countries (or parts of countries), who are already in the United States. Eligible individuals without nationality who last resided in the designated country may also be granted TPS.”
“The Secretary may designate a country for TPS due to the following temporary conditions in the country: Ongoing armed conflict (such as civil war). An environmental disaster (such as earthquake, [flood] or hurricane). Other extraordinary and temporary conditions. During a designated period, eligible individuals: Are not removable from the United States. Cannot be detained by DHS [US Department of Homeland Security]. Can obtain an employment authorization document (EAD). May apply for travel authorization.”
Six countries – El Salvador, Haiti, Honduras, Nicaragua, Somalia and Sudan – are currently designated for TPS. An Immigration Judge (IJ) or the Board of Immigration Appeals (BIA) can also grant TPS to any eligible person from these six countries who is now residing in the USA.
The Pakistan TPS Action Committee (PTAC) Chairman, a noted Pakistani-American lawyer Saleem Rizvi, wrote and sent a joint petition of PTAC, TASC and PACLJ to US Democratic President Barack Hussein Obama and US Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton in 2010. Mr. Rizvi also wrote and sent the PTAC letter to Asif Ali Zardari, the Pakistani unconstitutional/illegal president and PPP Co-Chairman, through the Pakistan Consulate General, New York, in January 2011. But so far Obama, Clinton, Napolitano, Zardari, PPP PM Yousuf Raza Gilani, PPP FM Shah Mahmood Qureshi, PPP envoy to Washington DC Husain Haqqani and Pakistani Consul General (New York) Faqir Syed Asif Hussain have failed to do anything good or positive to get TPS for all eligible Pakistanis now based in the USA.
Pakistan USA Freedom Forum (PUFF – New York) President Muhammad Shafique and General Secretary Shahid Comrade e-mailed their PUFF statement of 9 November 2010 to the Adeeb Media on 19 January 2011, which states: “Double Standard of Obama Administration Towards National Disaster in Pakistan. In July , severe floods struck across Pakistan, killing thousands of people, making millions homeless and poisoning much of the water supply for the whole country. This has affected the entire population, as even mothers cannot get clean water for their newborn children.”
“For the first time, all elements of the Pakistani community are united on the demand for Temporary Protected Status (TPS). The Obama Administration could provide this TPS with a stroke of the pen. It is a humanitarian measure which does not need to go through Congress. But so far this Administration has done nothing (except more murderous drone attacks on civilians violating the sovereignty of Pakistan). Even after promising legalization for all, [US Democratic President Barack Hussein] Obama deported more immigrants.”
“TPS would allow all [TPS] Pakistanis to work in their country of residence and send money home to help their families. It would mean that Pakistanis facing deportation could be released from detention centers. It would also allow Pakistanis to go home to see their loved ones, pay respect to relatives lost in the recent floods and return to the U.S. This TPS should be retroactive to July .”
“We also request that attorneys interested in human rights charge only nominal fees for processing TPS papers and that humanitarian organizations pay all expenses for those who are in detention centers. We also ask that countries of the European Union, the Middle East and every country where there are Pakistanis also provide these immigrants with a similar status.”
“The U.S. Government and other colonial powers have always attacked certain groups of people who opposed their reactionary policies. They attacked Communists and other leftists from the time of the “Red Scare” of the 1920s, when foreign-born Communists were threatened with deportation, until now when the FBI is raiding the homes of anti-war and international solidarity activists, seizing their files and subpoenaing them to appear before grand juries. Now they are attacking and demonizing Muslims who oppose the U.S. wars of terror against the peoples of Iraq, Afghanistan and Pakistan. The U.S. and many European governments maintain a double standard by sanctioning and threatening war against Iran. This continues even as they provide billions of dollars annually to support their client Zionist state, Israel, in oppressing the Palestinian people, and providing atomic reactors and [nuclear] fuel to India, who continue killing innocent people in occupied Kashmir. Both Israel and India continue violating multiple UN resolutions in occupied Palestine and Kashmir.”
“Pakistan USA Freedom Forum would like to thank all those who are participating in the fight for TPS for Pakistanis, especially Mr. Abid Abdullah and Attorney Saleem Rizvi. We call on all immigrant rights organizations, human rights and social justice groups to support this [TPS] demand. Finally, we would like to point out that PUFF was one of the first groups to support the TPS for Haitians after the devastating earthquake that struck their country in January . The Pakistani community has always been in the forefront of the fights against wars, torture, rendition, racism and police brutality; and for open courts, a free press, equality and civil rights for all.”
US Congressman Al Green (D-TX) introduced his bill No. H.R. 285 (titled “Pakistani Temporary Protected Status Act of 2011”) in the US House of Representatives (112th Congress) on 12 January 2011, which expresses the sense of the US Congress (House and Senate) that the extraordinary and temporary conditions caused by flooding in Pakistan qualify Pakistan for TPS designation under the US Immigration and Nationality Act, pursuant to which its citizens/nationals would be eligible for TPS in the USA. It designates Pakistan as a TPS country for an initial 12-month period. It sets forth related TPS eligibility requirements, including continuous presence of eligible Pakistanis in the USA since 22 July 2010. It requires the US DHS Secretary to give prior consent to such Pakistanis for temporary trips abroad in emergency and extenuating circumstances. It was referred to the House Committee on the Judiciary.
The Green bill (H.R. 285) states that the US Congress finds the following:
(1) The summer of 2010 produced Pakistan’s worst flooding in 80 years.
(2) The 2010 Pakistani floods began in July 2010 following heavy monsoon rains in the Khyber Pakhtunkhwa, Sindh, Punjab and Balochistan regions of Pakistan and affected the Indus River basin. Flooding began on July 22, 2010 in the province of Baluchistan.
(3) According to the United Nations, 20,000,000 people, one-eighth of the population, and nearly 62,000 square miles, one-fifth of the country, have been significantly affected by destruction of property, livelihood and infrastructure.
(4) The Pakistani Government reports that the floods have affected 82 of Pakistan’s 122 districts. As a result, more than 12 million people require humanitarian assistance, with nearly 6 million victims lacking access to food, shelter and water.
(5) The Pakistani Government estimates that approximately 1.9 million houses were either damaged or destroyed and nearly 2,000 people have lost their lives.
(6) Over 60,000 troops are involved in Pakistan’s flood relief operations.
(7) The floods severely devastated Pakistan’s infrastructure including roads, bridges, schools, health clinics, electricity and communications. More than 5,000 miles of roads and railways were washed away, along with some 7,000 schools and more than 400 health facilities.
(8) In addition, about 17 million acres of Pakistan’s most fertile croplands have been submerged by the floods, in a nation where farming is an economic mainstay. The waters have also killed more than 200,000 head of livestock and washed away large quantities of stored commodities that feed millions throughout the year.
(9) On August 14, 2010, the first documented case of cholera emerged in the town of Mingora.
(10) On September 7, 2010, the International Labour Organization reported that more than 5.3 million jobs have been lost due to the floods.
(11) Concerns are growing about the enduring toll of the disaster on Pakistan’s overall economy, food supply and political stability.
(12) Temporary protected status allows aliens who do not legally qualify as refugees but are nonetheless fleeing or reluctant to return to potentially dangerous situations to temporarily remain in the United States.
(13) Granting temporary protected status to nationals of Pakistan is consistent with the interests of the United States and promotes the values and morals that have made the United States strong.
Sense of Congress:
It is the sense of the Congress that the extraordinary and temporary conditions caused by flooding in Pakistan qualifies Pakistan for designation under subparagraph (B) or (C) of section 244(b)(1) of the Immigration and Nationality Act (8 U.S.C. 1254a(b)(1)), pursuant to which nationals of Pakistan would be eligible for temporary protected status in the United States.
[Mr. Syed Adeeb – http://www.SyedAdeeb.net – is America’s international journalist, Chief Editor of the Information Media Group (IMG) – (InformPress.com – AdeebMedia.com – AdeebPress.com) – Director of the Human Rights Justice Forum (HRJF) – and Coordinator of the Journalists Scholars Forum (JSF) – based in Virginia, USA. – Thursday, 20 January 2011]
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