The Syrian American Council and Americans for a Free Syria Applaud Extension and Redesignation of Temporary Protected Status For Syria
6,700 individuals stand to benefit from the extension, and 1,800 individuals stand to benefit from the redesignation
WASHINGTON D.C., January 29, 2021 – Today, the Syrian American Council and Americans for a Free Syria applaud the Biden administration for its decision to extend Temporary Protected Status (TPS) for nationals of Syria to September 2022, and to redesignate 1,800 individuals, making them eligible to file for TPS. TPS provides protection from deportation and permission to work for eligible nationals of countries that have been designated temporarily too dangerous for return. An estimated 8,500 people are set to benefit from the redesignation and extension. This decision provides a strong starting point for the new administration’s relationship with Syrian Americans and a Syria policy that promotes the safety of Syrian civilians and their aspirations for a free and democratic Syria.
In Syria, over five million civilians fled a brutal regime that still seeks to deliberately target and displace the remaining population. Today’s decision by the Department of Homeland Security was made in light of ongoing conditions on the ground in Syria that prevent a safe return, including the use of chemical weapons and child soldiers, limited access to water and medical care, and large-scale destruction of Syria’s infrastructure. The country conditions that called for the original TPS designation for Syria have not abated, and thus the Biden administration has made the just and fact-based decision to continue protections for Syrian nationals living in the United States.
The Syrian American Council and Americans for a Free Syria have seen first hand the invaluable contributions of our Syrian American neighbors to their communities on a daily basis and were proud to co-sign a letter to the administration calling for extension and redesignation alongside 113 organizations. Their status should have never been at risk in the first place. This announcement should serve as a step towards a permanent solution by Congress for the thousands of TPS holders who have built lives and strengthened communities in the United States.