July 19th, 2018
For Immediate Release/available online
Washington, DC - Today, Department of Homeland Security Secretary Kirstjen Nielsen has announced an extension and not a redesignation of Temporary Protected Status (TPS) for Somalia. DHS has put Somali TPS holders on an 18 month notice. This decision does not include thousands of other Somali nationals that would eligible for TPS and is a continuation of this administration’s closing off the border to people seeking safety and protection.
Policy Director for the UndocuBlack Network, Patrice Lawrence said , “We continue to hear heart-wrenching stories from our UndocuBlack family who are devastated by anti immigration policy. The Cold War and America’s war on terror have continuously contributed to the crisis in Somalia. For the American government to turn its government to people who want access to basic needs like food, security and shelter is unconscionable. We needed a re-designation, the conditions in Somalia have worsened since this year and definitely since the last re-designation in 2012. We know that this will cause added instability for several mixed status Somali families who are simultaneously being denied asylum. This is not enough.”
Somali TPS holder Ali Abdul who has shown immense fortitude at this really difficult time is devastated for his friends, “While I feel so relieved to know that my TPS got extended, I feel so sorry for my friends who I talk to every night. They will not be able to apply for TPS. I was hoping they would get a chance too, a lot of them still have check ins with ICE and can be deported at any time.”
This administration has demonstrated its hatred of Muslims and Trump has been specifically xenophobic to Somalis. In a couple of visits to Minnesota, a state with the largest population of Somalis in the US, the President has shown nothing but contempt to a group of people who simply want the opportunity to exist. Like everyone of us, they have the right to work, have families and enjoy the freedom to simply be.
Like millions of people, Ali is directly impacted by white supremacist policies. The administration’s decisions are a direct attack on their humanity and continues to create long-term trauma on families.
UndocuBlack Network continues to demand a permanent solution for all TPS and DED holders. The next TPS related news will be the expiration of legal status for Sudanese TPS holders which takes effect on November 2, 2018.