Bill Seeking Temporary Reprieve for Undocumented Pakistanis Died With 111th Congress

Pakistani immigrants requested Temporary Protected Status after devastating floods in their home country - Photo: Mohsin Zaheer

Pakistani immigrants requested Temporary Protected Status after devastating floods in their home country. (Photo: Mohsin Zaheer)

This article was originally published in Sada-e-Pakistan, on January, 12, 2011. Translated from Urdu by Shagufta Khan.

A bill introduced last year in the U.S. Congress seeking Temporary Protected Status (TPS) for undocumented Pakistanis after the country’s catastrophic floods seems to have been washed out with the 111th Congress. Thus the end of term has dampened the hopes of several thousand undocumented Pakistanis in the United States who were upbeat about its passage.  However, the TPS Action Committee, a body of Pakistani community activists, which has been pressing the Obama administration to give TPS status to undocumented community members, says that it will not abandon its efforts.

Pakistani community activists say TPS will enable several thousand undocumented Pakistanis to provide better support for their families back home who last year were devastated by the worst floods in a century. The floods killed over 1,800 people, marooned one-fifth of the country for several months, destroyed millions of acres of standing crops, decimated communities nationwide and displaced 20 million people. The United Nations reports that the Pakistani floods were an even bigger natural disaster than the deadly earthquake in Haiti. Undocumented Haitian immigrants in the U.S. were granted TPS for 18 months after the quake, allowing them to work here with legal status.

After the failure of the TPS initiative in Congress, the Pakistani TPS Action Committee is now asking the Obama Administration to give protected status to Pakistanis through an executive order.

Read the whole article at Voices That Must Be Heard from the New York Community Media Alliance.

AboutMohsin Zaheer
Mohsin Zaheer is a Pakistani-American journalist and editor based in New York whose work spans two decades. He won the New York Community Media Alliance’s Ippies Award in 2009 and has been the beneficiary of numerous Pakistani-American awards. Zaheer joined Daily Khabrain, Lahore (the Urdu-language newspaper with the largest circulation in Pakistan) in 1989 as staff reporter, eventually becoming the Deputy Editor of Reporting. Zaheer moved to the U.S. in 1999 and joined the staff of Sada-e-Pakistan, an Urdu-language weekly, as Editor and set a new trend for Pakistani-American media by reporting on local issues and activities taking place in the U.S. He covered the 9/11 attacks, wide raging issues within the Pakistani-American community in a post 9/11 era, and the relationship between the U.S. and Pakistan. Zaheer also launched the Pakistani American community's first online newspaper in 1996, “The Pakistani Newspaper” (, and continues to contribute news stories and columns to Daily Khabrain, Lahore. Zaheer earned his Master degree in Political Science and History from the University of Punjab in Lahore, Pakistan.