On Thursday, August 1, the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) announced its decision to extend Temporary Protected Status (TPS) to nearly 7,000 Syrians living in the United States. While this was a hard fought victory by the Syrian American Council, our partner organizations and community, that makes it even sweeter.
Partnering with Americans for a Free Syria (AFS), American Relief Coalition for Syria (ARCS), and other Syrian American organizations, the Syrian American Council held meetings with the DHS on July 11. Our organizations met with several representatives throughout DHS, including those from the Office of Strategy, Policy, and Plans; the Office of Partnership and Engagement; and the Office for Civil Rights and Civil Liberties.
On July 15, we reached out to you, our community, to ask for your support, and you did not disappoint. We asked that you call and email your members of Congress using our action alert for TPS. Your contact and advocacy certainly made an impact.
On July 17, the Syrian American Council again joined forces with AFS, ARCS, and others to host anadvocacy day for Syrian TPS. The team met with representatives and staff from several states, advocating to keep 7,000 Syrians safe in the United States. Syrian TPS holders shared their stories with Congress, the DHS, and at a press conference.
Several important letters were drafted in support of TPS, including a bi-partisan letter in the House of Representatives and a letter from Senate Democrats, both calling for the renewal of TPS. Additionally, 200 faith-based organizations and leaders signed onto a letter in favor of the extension and re-designation of TPS. The Syrian American Council was one of 46 humanitarian and advocacy organization signatories on a fourth letter urging TPS be extended and re-designated for Syrians.
Finally, we, along with our organization partners, conducted media and social media outreach to inform the general public about the impending expiration of TPS, garnering widespread support across regions, religions, and political parties.
Thank you for your unwavering support for Syrians – both in the United States and on the ground in Syria. We continue to advocate for a Syria that is free and safe for all its residents, and until that is achieved, we must advocate for Syrians to live safely in the United States and abroad as well.
Please consider donating to the Syrian American Council so that we may continue our advocacy for Syria and for Syrians in the United States.
With much appreciation to our staff and members,
Syrian American Council