Keshav Raj Bhattarai and his wife came to the United States in May of 2015 around the time a 7.8-magnitude earthquake tore through Nepal, killing thousands and leaving much of their home city of Kathmandu in rubble.
They had not intended to stay in the U.S., and only came to celebrate their son’s graduation from a medical fellowship program in Pittsburgh. But in June of 2015, the Obama administration designated Nepal for Temporary Protected Status, based on the devastation from the earthquake. Keshav and his family were relieved to be able to apply for and receive TPS while their country was struggling to rebuild.
But in 2018, President Trump removed protections for Nepal while the country was still recovering from the massive damage caused by the earthquake, in addition to other problems.
“We were receiving TPS continuously and when we got the information that the Trump government had suddenly terminated TPS, we were very discouraged.”
Keshav is a lead plaintiff in a companion case to the Ramos litigation – Bhattarai v. Mayorkas — which challenges the Trump administration’s terminations of TPS for Nepal and Honduras. While his immediate fight is to keep TPS, Keshav also hopes to win more permanent protections and stay in the U.S. long term with his wife and son.
“We are in a very critical situation, full of chaos, but we still are hopeful that the government, which works for people, will certainly make a decision in our favor. Though we are hopeful, we have fears of deportation; there is a constant fear that we might get deported.”