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On June 20, Church World Service (CWS) and the Catholic Legal Immigration Network, Inc. (CLINIC) delivered a letter signed by more than 650 faith leaders to the Department of Homeland Security (DHS), calling on the administration to protect TPS holders from Yemen. In April, the U.N. secretary-general labeled the situation in Yemen the world’s worst humanitarian crisis. As Yemen enters its fourth year of brutal war, three-quarters of the country’s population–22 million people–urgently need humanitarian aid. DHS Secretary Nielsen must decide whether to extend and/or redesignate or terminate TPS for Yemen by July 5, 2018.
As we are called to love our neighbor and welcome the stranger, so too must we ensure families, are not sent back to immediate danger.
“TPS is designed to protect people from being returned to harm — precisely the conditions Yemen faces today.” Said the Rev. John L. McCullough, president and CEO of CWS. “Six hundred and fifty of my fellow faith leaders have called on the administration to do what is right by our Yemeni neighbors and by the law.” Monday, June 22, begins a national week of action on TPS for Yemen.
The letter says: “a failure to extend TPS for Yemen for 18 months and failing to redesignate the status would go against basic principles of human dignity, justice, and mercy. Approximately 1,100 Yemenis in the United States are protected by TPS today. Yemen was first designated for TPS in 2015 in response to the escalating violence which erupted in the summer of 2014.” Since then, conditions have steadily worsened.
“The facts on the ground in Yemen are clear and the Department of Homeland Security is compelled to offer the maximum protection possible to Yemeni nationals in the United States, an 18-month extension of TPS as well as redesignation, which would allow more recently-arrived Yemenis to apply for protection too,” said Jill Marie Bussey, CLINIC’s director of advocacy. “Yemen’s war has displaced millions and driven hundreds of thousands more over the border into neighboring countries seeking relief. More than 25 million people are without adequate food. And there are more than 1.1 million cases of cholera. At least 130 children starve to death or die of disease every single day in Yemen. Under the law, under faith teachings, under morality, the United States must do all it can to protect people and families from this suffering.”
To read the full text of the letter, please click here.