HIAS Statement on Extension of TPS for Yemen
Jul 05, 2018
SILVER SPRING, Md.—On July 5, the Trump Administration announced that it will extend Temporary Protected Status (TPS) for the 1,200 Yemeni currently living in the United States. TPS is a life-saving program that allows foreign nationals to continue living and working in the U.S. if their home countries have been severely afflicted by natural disasters or armed conflict.
This decision will extend TPS for 18 months to Yemeni nationals who are currently registered, but fails to redesignate Yemen as a country in need of protection, meaning that Yemenis who have arrived in the U.S. since January 2017, could face deportation.
In response to the announcement, Melanie Nezer, Senior Vice President of Public Affairs at HIAS, the global Jewish nonprofit that protects refugees, said:
“Yemen has been ravaged by war and famine, making Yemenis among the most desperate people on earth. Forcing TPS holders to return would place them in immediate danger. We are relieved that those living in the U.S. with TPS will remain protected from the conflict and humanitarian crisis for more time. However, without a TPS redesignation, we remain concerned for the future of those Yemenis who have come to the U.S. since 2017.”
Yemenis have been protected by TPS since fighting broke out in the country in 2015. Due to the ongoing conflict, more than three million people have been forced to flee their homes, and an estimated 80% of the population is in need of humanitarian assistance. People living in Yemen are consistently targeted by air strikes that have impacted access to food and health care and destroyed critical water systems, which has fueled the spread of diseases that now threaten the entire population.
Last week, 33 national security experts joined together to send a letter to the secretaries of State and Homeland Security urging them to extend and redesignate Yemen for TPS.