America's Voice En Español »
Earlier today, a Yemeni Temporary Protected Status (TPS) holder and New York business owner was joined by advocates and a country conditions expert to discuss the urgent and critical need to extend TPS for Yemen for another 18 months as well as redesignate in order to protect as many lives as possible from the country’s brutal conflict and humanitarian crisis. Speakers highlighted the extreme country conditions that merit extend protections and the ongoing humanitarian crises happening in Yemen.
MM, TPS holder from Yemen and New York business owner said, “I came here and received TPS when the war started in Yemen. The status has allowed me to complete my education, even after my parents lost their businesses and couldn’t support me anymore. TPS has given me a new life and I now have a 7-month old child who is a US citizen. I cannot go back to Yemen. Right now there’s a terrible war and the worst humanitarian crisis in the world. Everyone has lost a lot in the war- one of my best friends passed away and many of my relatives’ houses have been bombed. It is far too dangerous to move my family there and it’s too dangerous for my family that still lives there. America has given me the chance to start my life again, to educate myself, to make a family, and live our lives. I now have health insurance, a good job, I pay my taxes, and my life has gone from 0 to 100. To the politicians making decisions on TPS: please try to put yourself in my position. We are all human, we are all the same, and what happens to me today could happen to you tomorrow.”
Ibraham Qatabi, Senior Legal Worker, Center for Constitutional Rights said, “Yemen is the largest humanitarian crisis in the world today. More than 80 percent of the population is in need of humanitarian assistance. Two million children are malnourished and out of school. There is a total lack of access to basics like food, water and medicine and a blockade on relief. The State Department’s own travel advisory in April 2019 states ‘no part of Yemen is immune to violence.’ TPS helps more than 1000 Yemenis in the US to obtain work permits, open businesses, provide for family members, and also contribute to the economy. As a humanitarian matter, it is imperative we redesignate TPS. It’s what this country should stand for. We need to make sure that our friends and neighbors like MM, are provided this humanitarian relief.”
Lisa Parisio, Advocacy Attorney, Policy & Outreach, Catholic Legal Immigration Network, Inc. (CLINIC), said, “Congress created TPS to provide people with safe haven, to protect those whose lives or freedom would be threatened should they be forced to return to their home countries. In addition to the authority to extend TPS, Congress gave the DHS secretary the power to redesignate in order to offer protection to people who have arrived in the United States more recently. That power to redesignate is the logical outgrowth of what Congress intended in creating TPS. The need for protection from a war or humanitarian disaster does not change based on which day a person arrived in the United States. A DHS decision to grant anything less than the maximum protection for Yemen, an 18-month extension and redesignation, would be unconscionable.”