CAIR-Columbus today condemned the Trump administration’s announcement that they will not redesignate Syria for Temporary Protected Status (TPS). Yesterday, DHS Security Kirstjen M. Nielsen announced her decision to extend the TPS designation for Syria for 18 months through Sept. 30, 2019, which means those Syrians in the U.S. who already have TPS can renew their status. However the decision not to redesignate Syria for TPS means that no new applications will be accepted.
“Based on the State Department advisory urging Americans not travel to Syria due to the possible threat of terrorism, civil unrest and armed conflict, the Trump administration must recognize that Syrians living in the United States deserve the same consideration for their personal safety, and should not be deported,” said CAIR-Columbus Legal Director, Romin Iqbal.
While campaigning for office President Trump often demonized Syrian refugees – falsely equating them as representing ‘a great Trojan horse’ and posing a terror threat.
CAIR-Columbus is urging all local Syrian nationals to consult with an immigration attorney immediately to determine whether they qualify for other forms of immigration relief.
On January 11, CAIR urged the DHS to redesignate TPS for Syrians and Yemenis living in United States.
CAIR questioned why DHS would not redesignate TPS, a move that would open the program to Syrians who have arrived in the U.S. since 2016. Under certain circumstances, some of these individuals could face deportation to an active war zone if they fail to qualify for other forms of immigration relief – compromising their personal safety.
As of January 10, 2018, the U.S. State Department Bureau of Consular Affairs has issued a travel advisory warning American citizens “Do not travel” to Syria, as “No part of Syria is safe from violence. Kidnappings, the use of chemical warfare, shelling, and aerial bombardment have significantly raised the risk of death or serious injury.”
TPS is the humanitarian relief program that has permitted Syrians to live and work in the U.S. since the 2013 outbreak of armed conflicts and civil unrest in that country. TPS is not a pathway to citizenship but a temporary humanitarian program created by Congress in 1990, to suspend deporting nationals with expired visas to countries that have been devastated by war or catastrophe.