Advocates Commend Biden Administration’s Decision to Extend and Redesignate Temporary Protected Status for Somalia
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
January 13, 2022
CONTACT: Ricardo Ramírez, email@example.com
Washington, D.C. — Yesterday, the Biden Administration announced that it will heed advocates’ call to extend and redesignate temporary protected status (TPS) for Somalia for an additional 18 months, from March 18, 2023, through September 17, 2024. The redesignation allows eligible Somali nationals residing in the United States as of January 11, 2023 to apply for TPS.
“With ongoing famine in Somalia, safety and refuge in the United States are of utmost importance to the community,” said Jaylani Hussein Executive Director, of CAIR-Minnesota. “The decision by President Biden and Secretary Mayorkas will afford dignity and stability to people who have survived one onslaught after another of crises and violence.”
As decades-long armed conflict and a humanitarian crisis afflict the Somali population, the prospect of deportation would have put Somali nationals in the U.S. in intolerable levels of danger. African Communities Together (ACT) and the TPS-DED Administrative Advocacy Coalition (TPS-DED AAC) led a campaign for TPS for Somalia, supported by a coalition of 116 organizations advocating for civil and human rights.
“As millions of Somalis face armed conflict, hunger, and drought, the Biden administration made the right choice in extending and redesignating TPS for Somalia,” said Diana Konaté, Policy Director with African Communities Together. “This designation will protect countless families and generations of Somalis in the United States from violence and humanitarian crisis.”
“Historically difficult conditions in Somalia mean that the Biden Administration made the right call in extending and redesignating TPS for the country,” said Ramya Reddy, Co-coordinator of the TPS-DED Administrative Advocacy Coalition.
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.
The coalition also garnered support from members of Congress. 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) called on President Biden and Secretary Mayorkas to extend and redesignate TPS for Somalia.
African Communities Together is an organization of African immigrants fighting for civil rights, opportunity, and a better life for African families in the U.S. and worldwide. ACT connects African immigrants to critical services, helps Africans develop as leaders, and organizes African immigrant communities on the issues that matter.
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.