Department of Homeland Security Extends Temporary Protected Status of Syrian Immigrants for 18 Months

Members of the Syrian community celebrate Syrian Independence Day during a ceremony at St. George Orthodox Church in Allentown, Pa., in April 2018.
Matt Smith/AP

The Trump administration said it will allow some 7,000 Syrians living in the U.S. to remain under a temporary program that protects them from deportation.

The announcement to extend temporary protected status for an additional 18 months was made by Department of Homeland Security acting Secretary Kevin McAleenan in a statement issued Thursday.

“The decision to extend TPS for Syria was made after a review of the conditions upon which the country’s designation is based, which was ongoing armed conflict and extraordinary and temporary conditions, as well as an assessment of whether those conditions continue to exist as required by statute,” McAleenan wrote.

After an interagency consultation process, McAleenan said, “The conditions supporting Syria’s designation for TPS continue to exist.”

The Trump administration has tried to end TPS for citizens of a number of countries, including Nepal, Haiti and Sudan, but court challenges have stalled those efforts. The program grants protections to citizens of countries hit by war, natural disasters and other conditions.

Immigrant advocates say the administration stopped short of allowing more Syrians into the program, even though the country is still ravaged by civil war. Oxfam says this means an additional 7,000 Syrians in the U.S. won’t be able to seek TPS.

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SOURCE: NPR, Richard Gonzales