DHS Decision on TPS for Syria: “The US is no longer living its values”


For Immediate Release

DHS Decision on TPS for Syria: “The US is no longer living its values”

Wednesday, January 31, 2017

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

CHICAGO—January 31, 2018—The Department of Homeland Security (DHS) today announced its decision to extend Temporary Protected Status (TPS) for nearly 6,000 people from Syria, who received status in 2012 amidst the bitter, ongoing war that has decimated their country. Despite evidence of horrific in-country conditions, the agency did not redesignate TPS for the country, meaning that protections will not be extended to newly arrived Syrians.  Alianza Americas’ Executive Director, Oscar Chacón, issued the following statement in response to today’s announcement:

“We welcome DHS Secretary Kirstjen Nielsen’s decision to continue to shield 6,000 people from the horrors of civil war in Syria. We lament, however, that her agency has looked past the realities of war—a conflict that has been characterized by chemical attacks on civilians, torture at the hands of the Syrian government and ISIS, and the displacement of 11 million people—and decided against redesignating Syria as a country that receives Temporary Protected Status.

Syrians who arrived in the United States after August of 2016 could now face return to the horrors unfolding in their country. This reality, coupled with the Trump administration’s travel ban that blocked Syrians from entering the country and decision to slash the US refugee resettlement program, demonstrates that the United States is no longer living its values of offering refuge and sanctuary.

On the heels of recent cancellations of TPS programs for four other nations, today’s announcement marks the Administration’s continued condemnation of people to the volatile and violent conditions in their countries of origin. Alianza Americas remains resolute in calls to Congress to legislate pathways to permanent residency for Syrians and other long-term TPS holders. There are five legislative proposals on Capitol Hill that deserve our representatives’ careful consideration and urgent prioritization.”

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.