Damayan members and community hold Temporary Protected Status (TPS) forum

Just two weeks into the new year, Damayan organized a forum in Elmhurst, Queens, to give updates to the community on TPS and Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA), two important forms of immigration relief.

Attorneys Melissa Chua of New York Legal Assistance Group (NYLAG), Rio Guerrero of National Filipino American Lawyers Association (NFALA), and Stan Mark of Asian American Legal Defense and Education Fund (AALDEF) presented on the legal aspects. Damayan organizers Hong-Mei Pang and Linda Oalican presented on the experiences of being undocumented, the larger fight for these measures, and the need to continue to struggle for full legalization for all immigrants. A free legal clinic by NYLAG followed the presentations where community members had the opportunity to consult with immigration attorneys.

Since the Relief 2 Recovery coalition embarked on the campaign to win TPS for Filipinos we have:

Gathered public support for two online petitions: 3,046 signatures on MoveOn.org, and 505 signatures on Causes.com;

Sent in 67 letters from prominent community leaders to the Department of State since 1/13;

Secured 359 supporters to join our Thunderclap and through their contribution of tweets and posts reached over 394,285 people and established the hashtag #TPSnow;

Held nationally coordinated press events, vigils, and call-in days;

Organized meetings and delegations with Department of Homeland Security, the State Department, and the Philippine Embassy;

Collaborated with members of Congress and their staff to articulate the support for TPS from the Hill.

While we have been able to come together and exercise our voice in powerful ways, it has been three months since Typhoon Haiyan and nearly two months since the Philippine Government requested TPS. We are still waiting for the Department of Homeland Security and the State Department, who have significant influence on the decision, to act.

Please join our fight to WIN #TPSnow for FIlipinos and help continue our momentum!

What you can do now

1) Please call Secretary of State John Kerry at 202-647-5291 and urge him to provide a positive recommendation to DHS for granting Temporary Protected Status to Filipinos in the wake of Typhoon Haiyan.

My name is __________ and I am from ___________. I urge Secretary of State John Kerry to recommend to the Department of Homeland Security that TPS be designated for the Philippines immediately.

* If you find that the voicemail is full you can redirect your call to Kerry’s Chief of Staff David Wade at 202-647-5548.

2) Following that please call the Department of Homeland Security at 202-282-8495.

My name is __________ and I am from ___________. I urge the Department of Homeland Security grant the Philippines Temporary Protected Status immediately.

3) Email the State Department.


Subject: TPS for Philippines NOW

“Temporary Protected Status for the Philippines must be designated. I urge Secretary of State John Kerry to recommend immediately to the Department of Homeland Security that TPS be designated for the Philippines. My name is __________. I stand united with millions of US citizens, Filipinos and non-Filipinos, the documented and the undocumented, together as allies in this national movement for Temporary Protected Status for the Philippines.”

4) Stay updated on the R2R website and like the R2R Facebook page.