The US Department of Homeland Security has extended the temporary protected status for more than 6,900 Syrians that are currently residing in the United States. However, the DHS has advocated for a condemn decision to have protections not expanded. The US government will allow these Syrians live, work and study in America under the TPS status due to the deplorable and war conditions that are currently being experienced back at home. The Trump administration has extended their temporary stay for the next 18 months. Human rights advocates celebrated and praised the move by the administration that was announced on Wednesday amid fears that they would have been deported as a result of the stringent immigration policy pursued by President Trump and his administration.
However, the activists and advocates criticized the decision by the US government for the failure of the extension for the protection of Syrian nationals who had traveled legally to the United States after August 1, 2016. The announcement also came as a huge relief to Syrian citizens who had been living with the fear of deportation back to their home country which has been torn by conflict under the regime of Bashar al Assad. The fears were if the Trump administration rescinded their Temporary Protected Status (TPS) after the March 30 expiry date. However, the US president through the announcement has allowed them to stay in America up until September 30, 2019.
The TPS is a humanitarian program that seeks to protect individuals who were already residing in the United States legally before the Syrian crisis went nuclear. Advocates had raised concerns that the administration would terminate the protection program ahead of the deadline January 30 due to the harsh immigration policy adopted by the government since president trump went to the White House particularly towards countries that had been perceived as Muslim majority. This concern was still fresh in people’s minds despite a warning issued by the US State Department that no region, town or neighborhood in Syria could be considered as safe.
The parties that took part in the negotiations with the White House and the Department of Homeland Security said that the administration had earlier given clear indications that the temporary protection status for Syrian nationals would not have been renewed. However, the DHS released a statement on Wednesday that the program was renewed because the situation in Damascus could not warrant any successful or safe deportation for the immigrants.