211 Peace Corps Volunteers Urge the Administration to Reconsider Extending Temporary Protected Status for Nepal and Other Countries

The following was published by Sacha Maniar, Rachel Holtzman and Zachary Garcia, Returned Nepal Peace Corps volunteers, within the context of the Trump administration’s announcement that it will extend Temporary Protected Status for individuals from Somalia, Syria, South Sudan, and Yemen.

We, Returned Peace Corps Volunteers from Nepal and other countries, denounce the Department of Homeland Security’s (DHS) decision on April 26th, 2018 to revoke Temporary Protected Status (TPS) for the 9,000 Nepalis who have resided in the United States following the 2015 earthquakes. We also stand in solidarity with the El Salvadorian, Haitian, Sudanese and Nicaraguan community members affected by the revocation of TPS.

https://media.defense.gov/2015/Sep/24/2001293809/-1/-1/0/240915-A-YG824-001.JPG

Dozens of Peace Corps Nepal Volunteers experienced the devastating 2015 earthquakes and aftershocks alongside our Nepali communities. We had, and still have, strong relationships with those affected by the earthquakes, and witnessed the displacement of millions of people, and the destruction of their homes, their schools, their water systems, and the lives of their loved ones. We can attest to the fact that the physical and psychological trauma of the 2015 earthquakes was severe, and very much continues today.

Vulnerable communities in Nepal experienced severe psychological, economical, and physical damage after the catastrophic earthquake, and were given little support to rebuild. Many of us saw firsthand how aid money was slowly distributed, very rarely reaching the families most in need. In fact, many are still waiting to receive the full support promised to them by the Nepal government. The destructive aftermath of the earthquake was further impacted by political instability and the absence of local government, continuing aftershocks and severe flooding. Already struggling Nepalis lost their jobs and livelihoods, making it difficult to maintain their their family’s well-being.

With the instatement of TPS in 2015, Nepalis were given a chance to support their families and communities in a way they would not have otherwise. Most Nepali TPS holders that live in the United States work full-time, earning low-wages while still devoting substantial amounts of their salaries to supporting their families and communities back home. Despite DHS’ announcement, the earthquake-induced disruptions to many Nepali communities are still substantial. Forcibly removing current TPS holders would disrupt the lives they have built here, and drastically affect their communities back in Nepal who rely on these remittances while they slowly rebuild.

We, as Returned Peace Corps Nepal Volunteers, believe that the removal of TPS goes against the very mission of the United States Peace Corps: American grassroots investment in people and communities of developing countries around the world. We believe in strengthening communities, not turning them away in time of need. We believe that we must understand and validate the humanity of every individual, no matter the country of their origin. We understand that access to resources is not based on who is deserving, and that many Nepalis from the earthquake-affected districts, through no fault of their own, have had their lives destroyed and their need for support amplified.

We, the undersigned Returned Peace Corps Volunteers of Nepal and beyond, denounce the Department of Homeland Security’s decision to prematurely end TPS for the thousands of Nepalis, as well as individuals from other impacted countries affected by natural disaster, political instability, and civil unrest. We stand in solidarity with all those affected by this administration’s anti-immigrant agenda, and continue to stand up for world peace and friendship.

Photo by Giuseppe Mondì on Unsplash

Sacha Maniar (RPCV, Nepal N201, served September 2014 through December 2016)

Rachel Holtzman (RPCV, Nepal N202, served March 2015 through June 2017)

Zach Garcia (RPCV, Nepal N201, served September 2014 through May 2017)

Celine Smith (RPCV, Nepal N201, served September 2014 through February 2017)

Elie Amkraut (RPCV, Nepal N201, served September 2014 through June 2017)

William Romito (RPCV, Nepal N47, served November 1974 through April 1977)

Ray Mims (RPCV, Nepal N121, served August 1985 through November 1987)

Barbara King (RPCV, Nepal N23, served October 1971 through April 1974)

Jill Foster (RPCV, Nepal N184, served October 1997 through September 1999)

Cecil Maxfield (RPCV, Nepal N64, served from 1975 through 1977)

Rachel Satoh (RPCV, Nepal N202, served March 2015 through June 2018)

Elizabeth Hobson (RPCV, Nepal N183, served February 1997 through May 1999)

Cliff Maxwell (RPCV, Nepal N81, served September 1978 through January 1981)

Mohit Mehta (RPCV, Nicaragua N57, served August 2011 through November 2012)

Natalie Teske Rector (RPCV, Nepal N196, served January 2003 through September 2004)

Ben Wagner (RPCV, Nepal N200, served September 2013 through November 2015)

Rajendra Awasthi (RPCV, Nepal N197, served August 2003 through September 2004)

Owen Duncan (RPCV, Nepal N200, served September 2013 through November 2015)

Brett Johnson (RPCV, Nepal N188, served February 1999 through April 2001)

Scott Ruplin (RPCV, Nepal N176, served 1993 through 1995)

Patrick Welsh (RPCV, Nicaragua N61, served March 2015 through May 2015)

Leala Rosen (RPCV, Nepal N201, served September 2014 through November 2015)

Clifford Duong (RPCV, Madagascar SED/CED, served 2011 through 2014)

Maria Castrillon (RPCV, Senegal, served March 2015 through May 2017)

Christine Bora Lee (RPCV, Nepal N200, served September 2014 through November 2015)

Wendy King (RPCV, Nepal N64, served 1977 through 1979)

Nicole Peltzer (RPCV, Nepal N202, served March 2015 through June 2017)

Brittany Williams (RPCV, Guinea G21, served December 2011 through January 2014)

Dustin Tamsen (RPCV, Lesotho, ED’10, served December 2009 through 2012)

Kaitlyn Moberly (RPCV, Nepal N202, served March 2015 through July 2017

Elizabeth Clewell (RPCV, Nepal N203, served April 2016 through May 2018)

Stacy Bowser (RPCV, Guinea G21, served November 2011 through January 2014)

Lucia Wittenberg (RPCV, Nepal N203, served April 2016 through May 2018)

Sarah Anderson (RPCV, Nepal N201, served September 2014 through October 2016)

Bridget Norris (RPCV, Burkina Faso G30, served June 2015 through August 2016)

Marie Mathews (RPCV, Nepal N180, served September 1995 through November 1998)

John Casey (RPCV, Nepal N166, served September 1988 through December 1990)

Sarah Kosling (RPCV, Nepal N202, served March 2015 through June 2017)

S. Blake Walton (RPCV, Nepal N202, served March 2015 through May 2015)

Wendy Stein (RPCV, Lesotho CHED2012, served June 2012 through August 2014)

Megan R (RPCV, South Africa SA34, served 2016 through 2018)

Jon Souder (RPCV, Nepal N44, served September 1974 through September 1976)

Garrett Morris (RPCV, Nepal N201, served September 2014 through March 2018)

Andrea Smith (RPCV, Nepal N199, served September 2012 through November 2014)

Melissa Moffett (RPCV, Nepal N180, served September 1995 through February 1999)

Victoria Carrington (RPCV, Nepal N201, served September 2014 through October 2015)

Stewart Carrington (RPCV, Nepal N201, served September 2014 through October 2015)

L. Dan Stewart (RPCV, Nepal N202, served March 2015 through August 2016)

Shelby Stuckel (RPCV, Ukraine TEFL 46, served September 2014 through April 2015)

Michael B Shulevitz (RPCV, Nepal N141, served September 1984 through January 1988)

Helen Crowell (RPCV, Nepal N174, served September 1992 through December 1994)

Julie Ghostlaw (RPCV, South Africa SA25, served January 2012 through March 2014)

Michelle Daniels (RPCV, Nepal N170A, served September 1991 through December 1993)

Tarek Elamine (RPCV, The Gambia Education, served May 2016 through March 2018)

John E. Paul (RPCV, Nepal N20, served September 1969 through July 1971)

Jennifer Watkins (RPCV, Niger, served July 2007 through September 2009)

Lee Gilliland (RPCV, Nepal N185, served 1998 through 2000)

George Schlossnagle (RPCV, Nepal N182, served 1996 through 1998)

Rebecca Hamilton (RPCV, Nepal N202, served March 2015 through June 2017)

Mira Weisenthal (RPCV, Cambodia K3, served July 2009 through September 2011)

Jose Leandro (RPCV, Guatemala 7, served 2016 through 2017)

America Gonzalez (RPCV, Costa Rica Tico 25, served March 2013 through May 2015)

Camille Harper (RPCV, Benin, served June 2013 through May 2015)

Tracy Skluzacek (RPCV, Nicaragua 61, served March 2013 through May 2015)

Chloe Hamilton (RPCV, Nepal N201, served September 2014 through November 2016)

Barbara Jones (RPCV, Nepal N187, served September 1996 through December 1998)

Scott Menzies (RPCV, Nepal N182, served August 1995 through December 1998)

Barbara Jue (RPCV, Moldova M28, served June 2013 through July 2015)

Juli Steenhoek (RPCV, Moldova M31, served May 2016 through July 2016)

Ivan Browning (RPCV, Kenya, served January 1975 through December 1976)

Loren Cannon (RPCV, Nepal N160, served 1986 through 1989)

Peter Calkins (RPCV, Nepal N17, served July 1968 through July 1970)

Sara Cucksey (RPCV, Nepal N190, served December 1999 through January 2002)

Mark Ehler (RPCV, Nepal N202, served March 2015 through June 2017)

Niya Garrett (RPCV, Mozambique Moz 23, served September 2014 through November 2016)

Susan Malick (RPCV, Nepal N17, served September 1968 through July 1970)

Emma Stephens (RPCV, Cameroon N, served October 1996 through March 1999)

Maryah Converse (RPCV, Jordan J7, served 2004 through 2006)

Alex Clayton (RPCV, Nepal N199, served September 2012 through November 2014)

Kaitlin Tufts (RPCV, Tonga 76, served October 2010 through December 2012)

Cassie Schnidt (RPCV, Nepal N199, served September 2012 through February 2013)

Joy Greeley (RPCV, Nepal N170, September 1990 through December 1992)

Victoria Krauss (RPCV, Guatemala, served October 2014 through November 2016)

Christina Kohrt (RPCV, Nepal, served September 1989 through December 1991)

Walter Bayer (RPCV, Lesotho, served December 2015 through December 2017)

Kerri (RPCV, Costa Rica Tico30, served July 2015 through April 2018)

Andrea Spake (RPCV, Ethiopia G10, served February 2014 through June 2016)

Courtney Welton-Mitchell (RPCV, Nepal N185, served from 1998 through 2000)

Claire MacLachlan (RPCV, Togo, served June 2016 through April 2018)

Jessica Szalawiga (RPCV, Mali/Burkina Faso, served from 2011 through 2012/2012 through 2014)

Jonathan Beckley (RPCV, Nicaragua Nica 51, served September 2008 through November 2011)

Andrea Crider (RPCV, Kenya, served May 2011 through March 2013)

Nicholas Sung (RPCV, Nepal N199, served from 2012 through 2014)

Brock Mullis (RPCV, Honduras, served February 1980 through March 1982)

Claire Bourseleth (RPCV, Jamaica 77, served July 2006 through August 2008)

Kimberly Seibel (RPCV, Chad/Mali, served from 2005 through 2007)

Phylicia Manley (RPCV, Paraguay G39, served May 2012 through August 2014)

Teresa Landers (RPCV, Botswana Bots16, served August 2015 through September 2017)

Kate Schachter (RPCV, Ghana/Georgia, served August 2004 through January 2007/February 2016 through February 2017)

Judy Covell (RPCV, Peru N0, served January 1964 through December 1965)

Peg Bogacz (RPCV, Ethiopia 3, served from 1964 through 1966)

Victoria L Pariyar (RPCV, Nepal N171, served from 1991 through 1993)

Andrea Myton (RPCV, Bangladesh B3, served in 2001)

Lauretta Jean Rayhle (RPCV, Nepal N202, served March 2015 through June 2017)

Craig Seber (RPCV, Nepal N201, served September 2014 through May 2015)

Andrew Choi (RPCV, Nepal N200, served from 2013 through 2015)

Kitaho Kato (RPCV, Mongolia M23, served June 2012 through July 2014)

Laura Cifelli (RPCV, Mongolia M27, served May 2016 through July 2018)

Sarah Hendrix (RPCV, Nepal N201, served September 2014 through November 2016)

Lorre-Ann Fisher (RPCV, Mongolia M24, served May 2013 through February 2014)

Virginia Chandler (RPCV, Mongolia M24, served May 2013 through August 2015)

Justin Mugits (RPCV, Mongolia M22, served June 2011 through June 2013)

Steven Ellison (RPCV, Mongolia M23, served June 2012 through July 2014)

Kaitlin Decker (RPCV, Colombia CI14, served August 2012 through August 2014)

Anna G (RPCV, Mongolia M23, served May 2012 through July 2014)

Shikha Bhurtel (RPCV, Nepal N203, served April 2016 through June 2018)

Nathaniel Arneson (RPCV, Guatemala, served September 2015 through October 2017)

Nick McClure (RPCV, Rwanda, served September 2011 through December 2013)

Elijah Wood (RPCV, Mongolia M25, served June 2014 through August 2016)

Jon Turner (RPCV, Mongolia/Myanmar M25/MM1, served from 2014 through 2017)

James Park (RPCV, Nepal N202, served March 2015 through June 2017)

Kimberly Marie (RPCV, Nepal N201, served September 2014 through September 2015)

Sam Sosa (RPCV, Mongolia M25, served May 2014 through August 2016)

Judy Smith (RPCV, Niger/Armenia, served from 2010 through 2011/ 2011 through 2013)

Corey Creedon (RPCV, Paraguay G40, served from 2012 through 2015)

Jennifer Panuska (RPCV, Nepal N202, served March 2015 through June 2017)

Madeline Bowers (RPCV, Nepal N202, served March 2015 through June 2017)

Andrew Phinney (RPCV, Nepal N202, served March 2015 through June 2017)

Nathan Chaput (RPCV, Nepal N202, served March 2015 through July 2018)

April Whitehead (RPCV, Nepal N201, served September 2014 through May 2015)

William Gross (RPCV, Nepal N202, served March 2015 through June 2017)

Benjamin Leventer (RPCV, Nepal N202, served March 2015 through February 2016)

Mitchell Robert (RPCV, Nepal N202, served from 2015 through 2017)

Katherine McCarver (RPCV, Nepal N201, served September 2014 through December 2016)

Ted Hochstadt (RPCV, Lesotho, served December 1967 through January 1970)

Keith Partyka (RPCV, Rwanda H5, served June 2013 through July 2015)

Simon Stolkes (RPCV, Nepal N201, served September 2014 through November 2016)

Kyle Hugo (RPCV, Nepal N201, served September 2014 through June 2016)

Jadda Miller (RPCV, Nepal N203, served April 2016 through September 2016)

Anna Burgess (RPCV, Nepal N202, served March 2015 through June 2017)

Adam Perkins (RPCV, Nepal N202, served from March 2015 through June 2017)

Lucas Johnson (RPCV, Nepal N201, served from 2015 through 2016)

Tiara Sandoval (RPCV, Nepal N199, served September 2012 through November 2014)

Gina Gohl (RPCV, Nepal N202, served March 2015 through June 2017)

Lila Holzman (RPCV, Panama, served from 2012 through 2014)

Vanessa Walling-Sisi (RPCV, Tonga, served from 1993 through 1995)

Ken Shaw (RPCV, Zambia N201, served February 2017 through October 2013)

Jill Bond (RPCV, Belize, served from 2001 through 2003)

Pam Greenwood (RPCV, Philippines, served June 1966 through August 1969)

Henry Fung (RPCV, served from 2004 through 2006)

Janet Pottier (RPCV, Thailand, Thai13, served February 1966 through March 1968)

Vincente Cordero (RPCV, South Africa, SA31, served from 2015 through 2017)

Ashley Riley (RPCV, Zambia, served June 2015 through August 2017)

Jacqueline Gerson (RPCV, Senegal N201, served March 2014 through April 2016)

Thomas Tortorici (RPCV, Peru, served August 2014 through November 2016)

Kathleen Smith (RPCV, Nepal N43, served August 1974 through June 1976)

Thomas Fox Rutherford (RPCV, Nepal N56, served June 1977 through May 1979)

Steve Dorage (RPCV, Philippines, served from 1978 through 1982)

Daniel Luna (RPCV, Cameroon, served May 2013 through March 2015)

Jonathan Murray (RPCV, Nepal N171, served February 1991 through May 1993)

Nekeia Rideout (RPCV, Nepal N200, served September 2013 through November 2015)

Ashyra Haynesworth (RPCV, Senegal, served February 2015 through April 2017)

Pat Heinzerling (RPCV, Cote d’Ivoire N30, served June 1969 through June 1972)

Britton Holmes (RPCV, Nicaragua ENV70, currently serving)

Pat Heinzerling (RPCV, Cote d’Ivoire N30, served June 1969 through June 1972)

Maria Santangelo (RPCV, Nepal N149, served March 1985 through March 1985)

America Campos (RPCV, Peru PC15, served August 2010 through August 2012)

Felicia Kenney (RPCV, Benin PSL16, served from 2003 through 2004)

Natalie Davis (RPCV, Moldova M31, served June 2016 through July 2018)

Kevin Russell (RPCV, Tonga G79, served September 2014 through October 2016)

Sara (RPCV, Burkina Faso, served July 2010 through August 2012)

Teresa Padgett (RPCV, Botswana Bots16, served August 2015 through October 2017)

Melia Cerrato (RPCV, Ecuador, served August 2015 — December 2017)

Ann Granchelli (RPCV, Nepal N189/N191, served June 1999 through October 2002)

Jamie Minchin (RPCV, Ethiopia G10, served February 2014 through March 2016)

Derek Emmons (RPCV, Nepal N202, served March 2015 through June 2017)

Varsha Mathrani (RPCV, Uganda, served May 2012 through August 2012)

Joyce Hatch (RPCV, Micronesia Micro21, served from 1973 through 1975)

David Anderson (RPCV, Nepal N45, served October 1974 through 1976)

Mario Dillon (RPCV, Nepal N203, served April 2016 through July 2019)

Mary Sanders (RPCV, Nepal N195, served September 2002 through September 2004)

Suzy Khachaturyan (RPCV, Sierra Leone Salone 3, served June 2012 through October 2014)

Sam Crossley (RPCV, Sierra Leone Salone 2, served June 2011 through July 2013)

Matthew Flannigan (RPCV, Sierra Leone Salone 3, served June 2012 through August 2014)

Katherine McCurnin (RPCV, served from 2012 through 2014)

Nancy Tongue (RPCV, Chile, served from 1980 through 1982)

Catherine Cottam (RPCV, South Africa SA28, served July 2013 through January 2014)

Kimberly Heller (RPCV, Tanzania, served June 2008 through December 2009)

Michael Ball (RPCV, Gabon, served July 1996 through August 1999)

Judith (Remple) Senecal (RPCV, Philippines N168, served August 1980 through November 1982)

Katelyn Haas-Conrad (RPCV, Sierra Leone, served June 2010 through August 2012)

Deborah Fleischman (RPCV, Burkina Faso, served from 1983 through 1985)

Jacobo McGuire (RPCV, Nepal N202 served June 2015 through July 2018)

David Scheinman (RPCV, Nepal N34, served November 1972 through April 1976

Max Miller (RPCV, Nepal N202, served March 2015 through June 2017)

Andy Bogart (RPCV, Nepal N178, served September 1994 through November 1996)

Chris Austin (RPCV, Guinea G21, served November 2011 through January 2014)

Kendrick Daniel (RPCV, Guinea, served November 2012 through February 2014)

Carlia Suba (RPCV, Costa Rica Tico 22, served March 2011 through April 2013)

Alli Phillips (RPCV, Cambodia K10, served July 2016 through June 2018)

11 Peace Corps Volunteers who are currently serving.