The U.S. Department of Homeland Security (DHS) decided Thursday to extend temporary legal protections to about 500 Somalis who sought refuge in the United States. The majority of those affected live in Minnesota, home to the nation’s largest community of Somali-Americans.
Twenty-two U.S. senators had sent a letter to DHS Secretary Kirstjen Nielsen urging the extension of Temporary Protected Status (TPS) for Somali nationals who have taken refuge in the U.S. after escaping conflict and violence in Somalia.
In the announcement, Nielsen determined “the ongoing armed conflict and extraordinary and temporary conditions that support Somalia’s current designation for TPS continue to exist.”
Democratic Senator Tina Smith of Minnesota, who has led the effort to extend humanitarian protections, told VOA Somali the danger still exists in Somalia.
Taking to Twitter, she later added, “We must work to find a long-term solution. Without it, hundreds of our Somali neighbors who fled violence, human rights abuses, and who call this country home could face deportation.”
Though Somalia’s TPS designation was renewed for 18 months — until March 17, 2020 — it was not redesignated, meaning only current beneficiaries can re-register.
Source: Voice Of America