FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
December 14, 2022
CONTACT: Ricardo Ramírez, email@example.com
Washington, D.C. — As decades-long armed conflict and a humanitarian crisis afflict the Somali population, the prospect of deportation faces Somali nationals in the U.S. with intolerable levels of danger. African Communities Together (ACT) and the TPS-DED Administrative Advocacy Coalition (TPS-DED AAC) are launching a campaign for TPS for Somalia, supported by a coalition of 116 organizations advocating for civil and human rights. In a letter being released today, they wrote to the Biden-Harris administration exhorting them to extend and redesignate Temporary Protected Status (TPS) for Somalia.
“With millions of Somalis facing armed conflict, hunger, and drought, TPS extension and redesignation are crucial for Somalia,” said Diana Konaté, Policy Director with African Communities Together. “Like many generations of migrants seeking shelter in the U.S. before them, these Somalis in America are seeking safety and refuge. The difficult conditions on the ground continue to deteriorate and make it impossible for them to return.”
As the advocates stated in their letter, Somali nationals in the U.S. would face violence, armed conflict, political instability and a humanitarian crisis if the Biden-Harris administration made them return home.
“In the face of the ongoing famine in Somalia, it is more important than ever for the president to extend and redesignate the Somali TPS program,” said Jaylani Hussein Executive Director, of CAIR-Minnesota. “It is a critical step in ensuring that Somali TPS holders are protected and can continue to contribute to our society without fear of deportation.”
Distrust in leaders and electoral institutions, and widespread corruption have delayed and disrupted democratic processes for several years. This combination of factors is exploited by the armed extremist group Al Shabad which has declared war against “a western-backed government.” This results in rampant violence, with civilian casualties at their highest levels
recorded since 2017.
“While the administration is hosting African leaders this week – including some who have forced migrants to seek refuge in the U.S. – they must also honor the needs of vulnerable communities here, including Somali nationals,” said Ramya Reddy, Co-coordinator of the TPS-DED Administrative Advocacy Coalition. “The conditions in Somalia and the administration’s commitment to racial justice and equity make a clear case: Biden and Sec. Alejandro Mayorkas must extend and redesignate TPS for Somalia.”
In the coalition letter to the administration, advocates highlighted that the compounded impacts of extended drought, flooding, desert locust infestations, the economic impacts of COVID-19, conflict, and the war in Ukraine are affecting millions of Somali nationals. Forty percent of the population – 6.1 million people – are going hungry, experiencing worsening famine conditions, further making clear that a return to Somalia would be highly perilous for our Somali neighbors.
In a letter to the administration, more than 30 members of Congress, led by Reps. Ilhan Omar (D-MN), Adam Smith (D-CA), Pramila Jayapal (D-WA), and Yvette Clarke (D-NY) are calling on President Biden and Secretary Mayorkas to extend and redesignate TPS for Somalia.
The TPS-DED AAC is a national coalition of more than 100 organizations with deep expertise in law and policy surrounding TPS and DED. Member organizations range from community-based organizations directly serving impacted communities in the United States to international NGOs, working in and providing insight from affected countries.