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ICYMI: In a Win for Immigrants and Advocacy Community, Biden Admin Extends and Redesignates TPS for Syria

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TPS extended for 6,700 eligible Syrians through September 2022; an additional 1,800 people eligible to file initial applications

In a new story for Reuters, Ted Hesson outlines the details of the Department of Homeland Security’s Friday announcement extending and redesignating Temporary Protected Status (TPS) for Syria. In a move that reflects a reversal in policy priorities from the previous administration, the new extension and redesignation of TPS opens the door to protections for more than 8,000 immigrants who fled Syria, many of whom have been on the frontlines of battling the coronavirus pandemic in their jobs as essential workers in the United States. 

The article is excerpted below and can be read in full here:

“The administration of President Joe Biden on Friday extended deportation relief for several thousand Syrian immigrants living in the United States, an early move that aligns with his broader pro-immigrant platform.

The U.S. Department of Homeland Security announced that acting Secretary David Pekoske would extend Temporary Protected Status (TPS) for 6,700 eligible Syrians through September 2022 and allow an additional 1,800 people to file initial applications.

The program grants immigrants who cannot return to their countries safely, for reasons like natural disasters or armed conflict, the ability to stay and work in the United States legally for a defined period that can be renewed.

Biden, a Democrat who took office on Jan. 20, has pledged to embrace a more welcoming approach to refugees and immigrants. The stance contrasts with the hardline policies of former Republican President Donald Trump, who rolled back many humanitarian protections.

Trump largely sought to phase out enrollment in the TPS program for immigrants from Central American and other countries but was stymied by legal challenges. Despite his tough stance, his administration twice extended protections for Syrians due to ongoing armed conflict and limited access to medical care in the country. Trump, however, did not allow new applicants into the program.

With Biden’s designation, additional Syrians in the United States can now seek protection under TPS. The move fits with his broader plans to expand protections under the program.”

You can read a press statement from America’s Voice on TPS for Syrians here.