Press Releases

New York City Bar Association Calls for Temporary Protected Status for Pakistan


Eric Friedman
(212) 382-6754
Kathryn Inman

New York City Bar Association Calls for Temporary Protected Status for Pakistan

New York, September 27, 2010 – The New York City Bar Association’s Immigration and Nationality Law Committee has written a letter to President Barack Obama, calling upon the U.S. to designate Pakistan for Temporary Protected Status (TPS) in the aftermath of the severe flooding that has devastated Pakistan since last July. To date, more than two thousand people have died, over a million homes have been lost, 20 million have been injured or become homeless, and damage is estimated to exceed $4 billion in Pakistan. The World Health Organization has announced that six million people are exposed to cholera and dysentery, over half of them children.

“It is clear that Pakistan qualifies under the criteria contained in the statute, e.g., the occurrence of a natural calamity which makes it unsafe for citizens to return,” the letter states. “In the immediate past, the Department of Homeland Security has acted quickly to confer Temporary Protected Status in situations where such catastrophes have occurred. Haiti is only the most recent instance of such a designation.” Failure to designate Pakistan, on the other hand, “would give the appearance of being discriminatory,” the letter states.

The letter argues for TPS from a practical as well as humanitarian perspective: “A self-evident source of such funding would flow from remittances by Pakistani nationals here in the United States as of the date of the flooding who could be granted employment authorization pursuant to their TPS status. TPS therefore is not in this instance merely a device for protecting a group of nationals who are physically present in the United States from exposure to the adverse humanitarian effects of being returned to a devastated homeland. It is also a way to put humanitarian principles to work by empowering Pakistani nationals temporarily living in the United States to aid in the recovery of their own homeland and to alleviate the tragic consequences befalling Pakistan.”

The letter may be read here:


About the Association

The New York City Bar Association ( was founded in 1870, and since then has been dedicated to maintaining the high ethical standards of the profession, promoting reform of the law, and providing service to the profession and the public. The Association continues to work for political, legal and social reform, while implementing innovative means to help the disadvantaged. Protecting the public’s welfare remains one of the Association’s highest priorities.