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Biden Administration Extends and Redesignates Somalia for Temporary Protected Status (TPS)

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Administration Should Continue to Use TPS as a Tool to Extend Protections for Those Here Who Need Refuge from Dangerous Conditions

Today the Biden Administration announced it would be redesignating and extending TPS for Somalia. The following is a statement from Douglas Rivlin, Director of Communication for America’s Voice, in response to the 18 month redesignation and extension for Somalia:

Today we celebrate alongside Somali TPS holders, their families and advocates who worked hard to make this announcement happen. The Biden administration’s decision to redesignate and extend TPS for Somalia comes after months of advocacy and organizing. 

Severe drought and flooding contributing to food insecurity and internal displacement, a healthcare system strained by the COVID-19 pandemic and an ongoing cholera outbreak, and escalating violence amid three decades of conflict have compounded the humanitarian crises in Somalia and made safe return impossible.

We are glad to see the Biden administration using TPS exactly as it was intended: to protect immigrants and their families in the instance that their country of origin is unsafe for return or if return would cause further instability. The Biden administration should continue to use TPS as a tool to provide life-saving protections for those fleeing unstable and dangerous conditions around the world.

While the Biden administration is right to use executive action to temporarily protect immigrants who are already living, working, and paying taxes here, the permanent solution must come from an act of Congress. Right now, Democrats are pursuing a 51-vote strategy to open a path to citizenship after decades of debate and Republican obstruction. Congress must act this year to establish a path to citizenship for immigrants and make it as broad as possible to include long term residents with deep roots in the U.S., like DACA recipients, Dreamers, farmworkers, essential workers and TPS holders. 

If Democrats use every legislative lever they have, they stay united and overcome Republican obstruction, citizenship for millions of people who live here can be enacted this year.  The Biden team has made a difference for Somalis living here with the new TPS extension and redesignation and Congress can make a real, permanent difference in the lives of millions of American families and enrich and move forward thousands of American communities in which they live.