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Press Release // Immigration and Asylum

Statement – Biden Administration Extends and Redesignates Somalia for Temporary Protected Status

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Global Refuge Staff

July 20, 2021

Contact: Timothy Young | | 443-257-6310

Washington D.C. – Department of Homeland Security Secretary Alejandro Mayorkas announced an 18-month extension and redesignation of Temporary Protected Status (TPS) for Somalia. The decision is crucial to supporting and protecting the safety of our Somali neighbors, allowing those who arrived in the United States after 2012 to apply for protected status and work legally without fear of deportation.

Mayorkas cited the ongoing conflict and a worsening humanitarian crisis in Somalia as the reason for the decision, acknowledging a dramatic upsurge in violence, severe drought, and flooding, which have contributed to worsening food insecurity and internal displacement that prevent Somalis in the U.S. from returning to their home country safely.

Krish O’ Mara Vignarajah, president and CEO of Global Refuge, offered the following statement on the announcement:

“We commend Secretary Mayorkas’ decision to extend and re-designate Somalia for Temporary Protected Status. Extending TPS for Somalia is a life-saving measure that will ensure the safety of Somali nationals living in the U.S. Re-designating TPS will also afford this protection to some 100 more newly arrived Somalis.

Current conditions in Somalia make it unsafe and inhumane for the U.S. to force our Somali neighbors to return to their home country, where civilians are suffering from the devastating effects of escalating violence, food insecurity, disease outbreaks, natural disasters, and mass internal displacement.

Today’s decision is a necessary move toward protecting our immigrant community, and we continue to urge the Biden administration to offer TPS protections for others who cannot return safely home, including nationals of Cameroon and Mauritania.”

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