by Staff Writers
New York (AFP) April 27, 2016
The United States should grant a special protected status to undocumented Ecuadoran immigrants so they don't have to fear deportation as their country recovers from a huge earthquake, New York's mayor said Wednesday.
The April 16 quake killed around 650 people and flattened coastal cities, causing billions in damage to an oil-dependent country already hit hard by low crude prices.
New York is home to some 140,000 Ecuadoran immigrants, and they and Ecuadorans around America should be granted Temporary Protected Status, Mayor Bill de Blasio said.
This status is granted to immigrants for whom returning home is deemed dangerous because of war, natural disaster or other special circumstances.
"We must extend whatever support we can at this critical moment," de Blasio said.
"I call upon the Department of Homeland Security to designate Temporary Protected Status for Ecuadorian New Yorkers and all Ecuadorians currently in the United States so that families will not live in fear of being removed from the US while their home country begins to rebuild after this loss," he added.
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