Washington, DC – As in-country armed conflict continues and Cameroonians deported from the United States face human rights abuses upon their return, the Biden-Harris Administration continues to fail to issue Temporary Protected Status (TPS) for Cameroon. Today, at a rally outside the White House scheduled for 11 AM, a #TPS4Cameroon rally will be held, led by organizations including the Cameroonian Advocacy Network, the Haitian Bridge Alliance and CASA. Follow along here.
Since 2014, Cameroon’s far north has been in conflict with Boko Haram, contributing to thousands of deaths and displacements. Government security forces and separatists have faced accusations of attacking schools, raiding villages, burning homes and arbitrarily arresting and killing dozens of civilians, according to local and international NGOs. The Biden Administration has yet to designate Cameroon for TPS despite an “ongoing armed conflict” – a statutory qualifying factor for a TPS designation – that has killed more than 4,000 and displaced more than 700,000 civilians. There should be no hesitation; TPS must be issued for Cameroon.
According to Douglas Rivlin, Director of Communication for America’s Voice:
Designating TPS for Cameroonians is a vital step in protecting migrants who face danger when they are deported. As the Human Rights Watch report demonstrates, those who have requested asylum in the U.S. are targeted for retaliation. We had all hoped that this President would stand up against discrimination and anti-Black racism in U.S. policies across the board, yet on this clear-cut case where they have statutory authority to address anti-Black and discriminatory practices in our immigration system, the Biden administration is failing to take action. The House Foreign Affairs Committee recently advanced a bipartisan resolution denouncing the situation caused by the targeting of English-speakers in Cameroon and Members in both parties are raising the level of concern. Cameroonian immigrants must be protected from the documented human rights abuses that many face upon their return and the Biden-Harris administration has an opportunity to demonstrate that they will take action when necessary and allowed under law, no matter what color they are or continent of origin the migrants come from.
- A report released last week by Human Rights Watch, “How Can You Throw Us Back?” traces the treatment of dozens of Cameroonian asylum seekers the US deported between 2019 and 2021. In addition to cases of arbitrary detention, torture, rape, extortion, violence and other abuses after their return to Cameroon, many also reported experiencing excessive force, medical neglect and other mistreatment in Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) custody in the U.S.
- Listen to a recent press briefing featuring impacted Cameroonians and advocates highlighting the serious harm and human rights abuses experienced by Cameroonians denied asylum and deported by the United States. A link to a recording of the Zoom webinar can be found here and accessed using the passcode Cameroon22!