On January 31, 2018, The Department of Homeland Security (DHS) decided to extend Temporary Protected Status (TPS) for approximately 7,000 Syrian, who are currently in the US. This decision only allows current TPS holders to renew their status.
DHS refused to re-designate Syria for TPS, thus inhibiting the Syrians fleeing violence and persecution to apply for protection in the US. Unfortunately, this will have a devastating impact on Syrian nationals who have sought safe haven in the United States since 2016. Moreover, it will undermine family reunification for an estimated 2,000 Syrian nationals in the US.
TPS allows nationals from designated countries facing humanitarian disasters and/or domestic strife to legally stay in the US. TPS does not confer a path to permanent residency, but it rather provides a safe haven until beneficiaries can return to their home without harm.
In 2016 United States and Citizenship Services renewed TPS for Syrians and stated that “the return of Syrian nationals to Syria would pose a threat to their personal safety” due to Syria’s ongoing civil war.” Syrians who enter the US undergo numerous levels of security and background checks and have been thoroughly vetted and screened. It is essential that TPS remains available for Syrian nationals until peace is restored in the country The American-Arab Anti-Discrimination Committee declared that “it is unconscionable that DHS would refuse to re-designate Syria for TPS when Syria remains a battleground where the US military is actively involved.”