US extends 'Temporary Protected Status' for Somalia for an additional 18 months
The US has extended Temporary Protected Status for Somalia for an additional 18 months, following recent urging by refugee rights advocates, given the country's ongoing armed conflict and natural disasters.
The announcement was made earlier this month by Secretary of Homeland Security Alejandro N. Mayorkas, who noted in a statement that TPS for Somalia would extend from March 2023 through September 2024. He also redesignated Somalia for TPS, meaning that Somalis living in the US can apply for TPS.
Last month, congresswoman Ilhan Omar of Minnesota, herself a refugee from Somalia, issued a public statement urging for the redesignation of the country for TPS.
The designation of TPS is applied to countries, subject to review, that are experiencing ongoing conflict that prevent their citizens from safely returning. In the case of Somalia, it is undergoing civil unrest, violent crime, drought, famine and outbreaks of diseases.
"Through the extension and redesignation of Somalia for Temporary Protected Status, the United States will be able to offer safety and protection to Somalis who may not be able to return to their country, due to ongoing conflict and the continuing humanitarian crisis," Mayorkas said in a public statement.
"We will continue to offer our support to Somali nationals through this temporary form of humanitarian relief," Mayorkas added.
According to DHS, the extension of TPS for Somalia will benefit approximately 430 current TPS holders through September 2024.
The redesignation will also allow for around 2,200 more Somali residents in the US since January to file applications for TPS.