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January 31, 2018

Summary

On Wednesday, January 31, the New York Times reported that the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) would be extending Temporary Protected Status (TPS) to an estimated 6,900 Syrians living in the United States under the program. Extending the Syrian community’s TPS will enable those individuals to legally work and live in the country for another 18 months as Syria continues to grapple with the carnage and despair brought on by its devastating civil war.

Analysis

After terminating TPS for Haitians and Nicaraguans this past fall and for Salvadorans earlier this year, the extension of TPS comes as a major relief to the Syrian immigrant community and its advocates. While this decision does demonstrate some level of decency, empathy, and compassion from DHS leadership towards immigrant communities, there is one catch: those who came to the US through TPS after August 1, 2016 will not be eligible for extension. No logical explanation could justify sending some people back to Syria and not others; the situation remains the same for all people affected by the civil war. There is currently no estimate on the number of Syrians with TPS in the States who entered after August 1, 2016, so it is hard to say just how many will be excluded from the TPS extension.

Engagement Resources

  • Act with America’s Voice: America’s Voice is a progressive immigration reform nonprofit that advocates for full and equal rights of all immigrants. The organization runs numerous campaignsmaps incidents of hate against people of color, and assists with voter registration, amongst other activities essential to promoting equity for immigrant lives in the United States. You can make a contribution to America’s Voice here.
  • Support the Center for Migration Studies:  The Center for Migration Studies is a think-tank and educational institute devoted to the study of international migration, to the promotion of understanding between immigrants and receiving communities, and to public policies that safeguard the dignity and rights of migrants, refugees and newcomers. You can support the institute through purchasing its publications or attending an event.
  • Stay Up to Date with the National Immigration Forum:  The National Immigration Forum is a DC-based nonprofit that leads the nation in constructive conversation and advocacy for the value of immigrants and immigration. The Forum is currently running a program called Immigration 2020, a multi-constituency effort to ensure that new Americans have the opportunities, skills, and status they need to contribute to the United States and realize their maximum potential. Join the organization’s email list to stay up to date on all things related to immigration policy.

This brief was compiled by Allie Blum. If you have comments or want to add the name of your organization to this brief please contact allie@usresistnews.org.


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