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DHS Extends and Redesignates TPS for Syrians in the U.S.

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“[T]he extension and redesignation of TPS is very significant in signaling that the Biden-Harris Administration is serious about turning the page on Trump’s cruelty and hostility towards immigrants.”

 Today, the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) announced it would extend and redesignate Temporary Protected Status (TPS) for Syria. This long-awaited extension and redesignation will provide protection from deportation and permission to work for those Syrian nationals already covered by TPS, plus an additional 1,800 Syrians living in the U.S. 

The following is a statement from Douglas Rivlin, Director of Communication for America’s Voice:

The number of people protected by the policy may be small, but the extension and redesignation of TPS is very significant in signaling that the Biden-Harris Administration is serious about turning the page on Trump’s cruelty and hostility towards immigrants. 

The Trump administration repeatedly tried to dismantle TPS protections for the hundreds of thousands protected by TPS living and working in the U.S., fought to end TPS in the courts, and only begrudgingly extended TPS designations for certain countries to avoid the political and logistical nightmares of making hundreds of thousands of long-term residents working legally suddenly the targets of deportation. 

But Trump never redesignated TPS for anyone, which meant that only those who already had it were protected. 

In the case of Syrians living in the U.S. who could face deportation, the Biden-Harris Administration not only extended protections to those who have it but in redesignating TPS for Syrians, they make TPS protections available to those who have arrived in the intervening years.

Syria is a country engulfed in civil war and humanitarian crises that make it unsafe to return, made even worse by the COVID-19 pandemic. Deporting immigrants from America into this type of chaos is not only deadly for those who might be deported, it would add to the instability of the country they are deported to, contributing more fuel to economic, public health, and human rights crises. 

Syrians who face deportation living here in the U.S. should not have to raise their families in fear of being unwillfully sent back to their war-torn country. Instead, they will be able to register with U.S. authorities, go through a process of receiving U.S. approval, and be enrolled in regularly renewing their TPS status if they comply with the requirements of the program. This will allow them to work legally to support themselves and their families and may increase remittances to help stabilize their families still in Syria

We commend the Biden administration for its decision to extend and redesignate TPS for Syria, and hope and expect it to use this tool for many other countries warranting it. Now, it’s Congress’ turn to come together and create permanent solutions for the hundreds of thousands of TPS holders who have built lives and families in the U.S., who are integral parts of our neighborhoods and communities, and who are helping the U.S. recover from our current public health and economic challenges.