Biden administration renews deportation relief for Syrian immigrants

Biden administration renews deportation relief for Syrian immigrants

August 3, 2022 0 By Ellen Novack

Campaign Action

“Syria is in the middle of a decade-long war, with extreme violence and deteriorating conditions,” said the Temporary Protected Status Deferred Enforced Departure Administrative Advocacy Coalition in welcoming news of the designation. “An estimated 14.6 million people require humanitarian assistance, and 90% of Syrians live in poverty.” The coalition said in a statement received by Daily Kos that Russia’s invasion of Ukraine has only exacerbated this crisis.

“We were pleased to see the 18-month extension for Syrian TPS holders, and the news that an additional 960 Syrians would be eligible for TPS under the redesignation,” said Jenny Lindell, Grassroots Advocacy Officer at Syrian American Council. Advocates said that the U.S. first designated Syria for temporary status in 2012, at the start of the nation’s civil war. A decade later, “Syria is not safe for return, and the United States must live up to its promise of being a safe refuge,” Lindell continued.

“While we celebrate this victory for Syrian immigrants in the United States, we acknowledge the dangerous conditions in other countries, whose nationals living in the United States do not have a safe home to return to,” the coalition continued in the statement. “We strongly urge the administration to continue to use TPS to provide life-saving protection for individuals whose home countries are in crisis.” 

Advocates have been calling for protections for Ethiopian and Mauritanian immigrants already in the U.S. The Biden administration designated Cameroon for temporary status in April, citing “extreme violence perpetrated by government forces and armed separatists.” In July, the administration extended—but did not expand—temporary status for Venezuela. By not redesignating protections for Venezuela, officials shut out roughly 250,000 Venezuelans who arrived since last year’s initial TPS announcement. Urgent relief is also lacking for Black immigrants.

“We commend DHS for their judgment to maintain this humanitarian protection for U.S.-based Syrians, given conditions on the ground,” said Anna Gallagher, executive director of the Catholic Legal Immigration Network, Inc. “We urge the Biden administration to make similar judgments by reconsidering and redesignating TPS for Venezuela and designating TPS for Ethiopia and Mauritania—other countries where conditions are just as dire.”

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