The Secretary of Homeland Security finished her review of all pending Temporary Protected Status (TPS) designations last week. She announced that Somalia’s designation will be extended two more years. That brings the total number of remaining TPS designations to just four countries. At the start of the Trump administration there were 10.
The decision to extend TPS for Somalia until March 17, 2020 was well-supported by the conditions on the ground. As the State Department explains in its travel advisory warning against any travel to Somalia, “Violent crime, such as kidnapping and murder, is common throughout Somalia… Terrorists continue to plot kidnappings, bombings, and other attacks…. They may conduct attacks with little or no warning, targeting airports and seaports, government buildings, hotels, restaurants, shopping areas, and other areas where large crowds gather.”
There are currently over two million people displaced in Somalia and nearly 5.5 million in need of emergency assistance. Organizations like Unicef have many projects there to try and assist the millions of people surviving in extreme conditions.
TPS was created to ensure that the United States could protect foreign citizens from deportation to countries experiencing conflict and disaster. With so many countries terminated in such a short period of time and with legitimate questions about how decisions were made, oversight is desperately needed to ensure that the United States provides much-needed protections and does not destabilize long-residing TPS holders and their families. Our team of immigration lawyers and specialists are helping with renewal of TPS. Call us to renew or find out if you have other options to stay legally in the country.