The South Asian Bar Association of North America is pleased this year to introduce a new program in the form of a nationwide Naturalization Drive. A majority of our chapters will be hosting local drives on May 19, 2018. 

U.S. citizenship is the path to fully participating in American life. It allows a person to vote, freely travel, protect themselves and family members from the risk of deportation, hold a wider range of jobs, petition to unite with other family members, and run for public office. This first Naturalization Drive is a nationwide event that will allow eligible South Asians in the community to apply for U.S citizenship. Clinics across the country will be available to assist those applying for citizenship. It will be a great event to promote civic engagement to serve the South Asian community pro bono. 

We are excited that the majority of our chapters are participating. If you would like more information about your local event, please reach out each individual chapter. SABA Austin, SABA Chicago, SABA Colorado, SABADC, SABA Florida, SABA Georgia, SABA Greater Boston, SABA Houston, SABA New Jersey, SABA New York, SABA Northern California, SABA Sacramento, SABA San Diego, SABA Southern California, and SABA Washington will all be holding drives on May 19. SABA Connecticut and SABA Metro St. Louis will hosting theirs later in the year. 

 For more information on a drive in your area, please contact your local chapter or visit

Meanwhile, earlier the U.S. Department of Homeland Security announced that it would end Temporary Protected Status for Nepal effective June 24, 2019. SABA is disappointed in this decision. Thousands of Nepali citizens were able to provide support for their families in Nepal as they recovered from the devastating 2015 earthquake as a result of the TPS. Along with other organizations, SABA had advocated a full extension of the TPS for Nepal, rather than a sunsetting period, as the recovery effort in Nepal still has a long way to go.

"SABA is disappointed that the administration has chosen not to extend Temporary Protected Status for Nepal. Much of the devastation in the wake of the 2015 earthquake remains, and the abrupt return of thousands of Nepali citizens will further hamper the recovery effort by adding to people and subtracting financial support. Nine thousand Nepali citizens potentially face deportation with the termination of TPS," said president Rishi Bagga.

Those individuals currently in the United States under the existing TPS must re-register in a timely manner to benefit from the extension. Reregistration details will be published shortly in the federal register. We also encourage TPS recipients to seek legal counsel as they may be eligible for a change of legal status in the United States. They should seek legal counsel on the range of legal remedies available to them.

Aneesh Mehta

South Asian Bar Association of North America

Via E-mail

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