“Arbitrary Dates Should not Determine Life or Death”: Alianza Americas Condemns Failure to Re-Designate TPS for Yemen

PRESS STATEMENT

For Immediate Release

“Arbitrary Dates Should not Determine Life or Death”: Alianza Americas Condemns Failure to Re-Designate TPS for Yemen

Sara McElmurry: 312-351-3890 or smcelmurry@alianzaamericas.org

CHICAGO – July 5, 2018 – The Department of Homeland Security today announced its decision to extend, but not re-designate, Temporary Protected Status (TPS) for Yemen. This is hopeful news for the more than 1,200 Yemenis who have held TPS status since 2015, the year a bloody civil war began ravaging the country. However, it is an unconscionable blow to those who have arrived in the United States to seek refuge after January 2017, the DHS deadline to qualify for TPS. Oscar Chacón, executive director of Alianza Americas, issued the following statement in response to the decision:

Arbitrary dates should not be a determining factor in life-versus-death situations. Yemenis have fled to the United States to seek refuge from a civil war designated as the world’s worst humanitarian crisis by the UN Secretary-General. Arriving before or after January 2017 does not make these families any more or less vulnerable to harm if they are returned to this horrifying conflict.

Even a cursory review of on-the-ground conditions in Yemen—a place where nearly 90 percent of the population is food insecure, where hunger and disease claim the lives of 130 children every day—should have satisfied the Department of Homeland Security’s criteria to re-designate Yemen for TPS status. The fact that even war, including an active bombing campaign being carried out by the US government, is not grounds for the program’s re-designation is further evidence that this administration is willing to advance its xenophobic, anti-immigrant agenda at any cost, including human lives.

On the heels of recent cancellations of TPS programs for six other nations, Alianza Americas remains resolute in calls to Congress to legislate pathways to permanent residency for Yemenis and other long-term TPS holders. There are five legislative proposals on Capitol Hill that deserve our representatives’ careful consideration and urgent prioritization.

The government of the United States of America has fully fallen into a path of tyranny, turning its back on the world’s most vulnerable, whether they arrive at our southern border or cross an ocean to escape violence. The principled people of the United States of America must continue to follow their moral compass, extending compassion and protection to those who come here to seek safety and refuge.”

Alianza Americas is a network of 50 immigrant-led organizations representing more
than 100,000 families across the United States. It is the only US-based organization rooted in Latino and Caribbean immigrant communities that works transnationally to create an inclusive, equitable, and sustainable way of life. Learn more at alianzaamericas.org.

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