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Press Release // Immigration and Asylum

Department of Homeland Security Designates Ethiopia for Temporary Protected Status (TPS)

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Global Refuge Staff

October 21, 2022

Contact: Tim Young | timothy.young@globalrefuge.org | 443-257-6310

WASHINGTON D.C. – Secretary of Homeland Security Alejandro Mayorkas announced today the designation of Temporary Protected Status (TPS) for Ethiopia for 18 months, marking the first such designation for the country. DHS noted ongoing armed conflict and a humanitarian crisis including severe food shortages, flooding, drought, and large-scale displacement as extraordinary circumstances contributing to its designation.

The decision will allow Ethiopian nationals who were already present in the United States as of October 20, 2022 to remain in the country and access work authorization for 18 months. Individuals who attempt to travel to the U.S. after October 20, 2022 will not be eligible for TPS under this designation. U.S. officials estimate that 26,700 Ethiopians will be eligible to apply for this protection, according to the Los Angeles Times.

In response to the policy development, Krish O’Mara Vignarajah, president and CEO of Global Refuge, said:

“Ethiopia has been plunged into a devastating civil war, making return for Ethiopian nationals a potentially fatal prospect, particularly for those of the Tigrayan minority. Armed conflict has ushered in brutal attacks, killings, rape, other forms of gender-based violence, as well as flagrant human rights violations.

The Biden administration’s designation is an important recognition that no Ethiopian on the safety of U.S. soil should be returned to such dire circumstances. The move is a potentially lifesaving reprieve for tens of thousands of Ethiopians who have already contributed so much to U.S. communities.

Beyond this critical designation, we also encourage Members of Congress to use the numerous bills before them to provide lasting stability for other TPS holders who have no clear path to lawful permanent residency and remain in revolving legal limbo.”

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