The American Human Rights Council (AHRC-USA), welcomes the Department of Homeland Security’s (DHS) decision to extend the Temporary Protective Status (TPS) to Syrian nationals in the US who have already been granted TPS before. This extension benefits about 7,000 Syrian nationals who would otherwise be subject to arrest and possible removal for lack of immigration status.
However, AHRC joins fellow human and civil rights organizations in expressing serious concerns for the DHS’s decision not to renew the designation of Syria for TPS. This means that Syrian nationals who arrived in the US after August 1, 2016 are not eligible to apply for TPS if they need it. Countries are usually routinely re-designated for TPS when the country conditions remain dire, which is the case for Syria. The war that started in 2011 is still ongoing and the US extended the TPS status of Syrians who already have it for that reason.
AHRC calls upon the DHS and the Trump Administration to reconsider the decision and re-designate Syria for TPS. No Syrian currently present should be in fear of arrest and removal to a country that is experiencing civil strife and a humanitarian crisis.
“The human rights community is not asking for anything special for Syria,” said Imad Hamad, AHRC Executive Director. “Syria, given American law and practice, is eligible for TPS re-designation because the conflict is ongoing,” added Hamad. “No Syrian national in the US should live in fear of being arrested or removed when the US itself recognizes the dangers and threats involved,” concluded Hamad.