More than 7,000 Syrians living in the U.S can heave a sigh of relief, as they have been granted temporary permission, to stay in the country. Homeland Security Secretary Kirstjen M. Nielsen in a statement said, the immigrants will be allowed to stay in the country for another 18 months, awaiting the outcome of ongoing conflict back at home.
“After carefully considering conditions on the ground, I have determined that it is necessary to extend the Temporary Protected Status designation for Syria,” Ms. Nielsen said in a statement. “It is clear that the conditions upon which Syria’s designation was based continue to exist, therefore an extension is warranted under the statute.”
The United States normally grants temporary status to groups of people who are affected by natural disasters, wars, disease outbreaks and other major catastrophes. The government also reviews the program to see whether to extend it depending on happenings on immigrant’s home nations.
The Obama administration extended Syrians stay in the country three times and allowed new applicants to join. The Trump Admisntartion on its part has ended protected status for Haitians and El Salvador because both countries have recovered from earthquakes.
The more than 6,900 affected Syrians will stay in the U.S under the Temporary Protected Status, a humanitarian program with Haitians Salvadorians and Nicaraguans. However, those who entered the U.S after August 1, 2016, will not be allowed to join the program.
While the caveat has not gone well with most people especially advocates representing the immigrants, some have welcomed it considering that Syria is still rattled in conflict, and still a long way from peace. Advocates had hoped that the administration would understand the depths of challenges that Syria continues to face.
The deal covers more than 6,900 Syrians who overstayed after their Visa’s expired. Most of them came into the country as students or visitors. There are about 90,000 Syrians living in the U, S most of whom arrived as refugees and others by legal means.
However, it is still unclear of the total number that lacks legal status. It is also unclear whether the Trump Administration will deport Some Syrians once their Temporary status expires.
Currently there no direct air service between the two countries and neither maintains a diplomatic presence in the other. A diplomatic tie makes it extremely difficult for the U.S to obtain the needed documentation for deportation purposes.