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January 12, 2005


Cardinal Justin Rigali, Archbishop of Philadelphia, in a letter dated January 7, 2005, asked the Honorable Tom Ridge, Secretary of Homeland Security, to designate the Republic of Indonesia for Temporary Protected Status. The Archdiocese of Philadelphia is home to over six thousand Indonesians. Temporary Protected Status (TPS) would allow Indonesians already in the United States to reside here legally and qualify for work authorization for a certain amount of time. Cardinal Rigali asked Secretary Ridge for a TPS designation of eighteen months (the maximum time permitted) for Indonesia.

In his letter to Secretary Ridge, Cardinal Rigali said, "The recent tsunami in Asia that has caused the suffering and death of countless people will stretch Indonesia's resources to the limit, even with the assistance of foreign aid. Relief aid offered by the United States and other nations is a great encouragement and sign of global solidarity. If Indonesians who are already in this country are allowed to work, they will be able to supplement this humanitarian effort by sending back remittances to their devastated homeland."

Cardinal Rigali also said, "The devastation in Indonesia clearly supports a designation of TPS. This designation should allow for the maximum length of time permitted so that Indonesians in the United States may continue to ease the human suffering in their native land."

The letter to Secretary Ridge is a continuation of Cardinal Rigali's efforts on behalf of the victims of the earthquake and tsunami. He has also asked all 275 parishes of the Archdiocese of Philadelphia to hold special collections to support the work of Catholic Relief Services. The Cardinal also celebrated Mass at the Cathedral Basilica of Saints Peter and Paul in Philadelphia on January 5th (the feast of St. John Neumann) to remember those who lost their lives and pray for anyone impacted by this immense tragedy.


Donna Farrell
Director of Communications

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