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On January 3rd, the Trump administration decided to extend but not redesignate Temporary Protected Status (TPS) for Yemen for another 18 months for nearly 1,500 TPS holders. While the extension is a welcome reprieve for Yemeni TPS holders already here in the U.S., the status only extends to current Yemeni TPS holders who arrived before January of 2017. It does not protect those who later fled from the ongoing humanitarian crisis in Yemen, failing to protect as many as 3,000 additional Yemeni nationals.
Douglas Rivlin, Director of Communications at America’s Voice Education Fund, commented:
We are glad that current Yemeni TPS holders are given a reprieve for the next 18 months, but the intentional failure to redesignate TPS for Yemen could cost lives because some in the U.S. remain vulnerable to deportation to a very dangerous country. An extension with no redesignation means the federal government feels Yemen is an unsafe country to return some migrants, but safe enough to return others, which is both illogical and incorrect.
The ongoing humanitarian crisis in Yemen is devastating, and merits redesignation so that those who have fled the armed conflict and ensuing humanitarian crisis have a safe refuge. The decision to keep thousands of potential asylees in harm’s way is one more example of this administration’s intent to cruelly keep immigrants, people of color, and other minority groups out of the U.S.
This administration paid no attention to the reality on the ground in Yemen nor the fates of thousands of people in the U.S. when considering their decision on TPS for Yemen.
It’s in this same vein DHS unlawfully terminated TPS for hundreds of thousands of TPS holders from countries in addition to Yemen who now face separation from their families, homes, businesses, and communities if they are deported. Congress must act and provide a path to permanent residency for TPS holders who encounter uncertainty in their everyday lives due to the cruel political games of this administration. America will be stronger as a nation if we end the uncertainty for TPS holders living, working, and raising families across the United States by granting them permanent status.