By Melissa Cruz (immigrationimpact.com)
After months of uncertainty, the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) announced on Thursday that it will extend—but not redesignate—Temporary Protected Status (TPS) for Syria. This life-saving humanitarian program protects foreign nationals from being deported back to a country that is facing ongoing armed conflict, environmental disaster, or other temporarily dangerous conditions.
The 18-month extension will exclusively offer protections to some 7,000 Syrian nationals legally residing in the United States. It does not, however, redesignate the country itself for TPS. The decision therefore excludes any Syrian nationals living in the United States not currently covered by TPS, particularly those who arrived here in the last three years.
DHS had the choice to extend the program and redesignate Syria for TPS—the agency has done so nearly every time the country has come up for a decision since its initial designation in 2012. But by only offering an extension, the Trump administration is shutting out thousands of Syrian nationals who are now at risk of deportation back to a war-torn country.