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HIAS Statement on TPS Extension for Syria

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SILVER SPRING, Md.—On Wednesday, January 31, the Trump Administration decided to extend Temporary Protected Status (TPS) for 6,900 Syrians. TPS is a humanitarian immigration status extended to foreign nationals present in the United States at the time of civil war or natural disasters in their countries.

In response to the announcement, Melanie Nezer, senior vice president of public affairs at HIAS, the global Jewish nonprofit that protects refugees, said, “Forcing any Syrian to return to a civil war would be inhumane, given the level of danger and destruction in Syria. We are relieved that Syrians who currently have TPS will remain protected, but are concerned that Syrians who arrived after August 2016 could be at risk for deportation.”

Since 2012, Syrians who were in the U.S. when the civil war in Syria began, have been protected by TPS. According to UNHCR, the United Nations Refugee Agency, the conflict in Syria is the world’s largest refugee producer, with 5.4 million refugees outside of their borders to date. Last week, over 50 national security advisors expressed support for extending TPS for Syrians.

Despite the massive displacement of Syrians and the severe lack of basic services - including work and access to school for children - available to them in countries in the region, the administration has repeatedly banned Syrian refugees from the United States.

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Temporary Protected Status