About 7,000 Syrians will stay in the United States for another year and a half under protected status, Reuters informs. If the administration had rescinded the temporary protected status, Syrians would have faced the prospect of returning to their homeland racked with violence. But, they were allowed to stay through September 30, 2019.
“After carefully considering conditions on the ground, I have determined that it is necessary to extend the Temporary Protected Status designation for Syria. It is clear that the conditions upon which Syria’s designation was based continue to exist, therefore an extension is warranted under the statute,” Department of Homeland Security Secretary Kirstjen Nielsen said in a statement.
Trump’s administration stopped short of re-designating Syria’s status, which means that it will continue to benefit only Syrians who have been in the U.S. since 2016 or earlier. Monzer Shakally is a 21-year-old Syrian student at the University of Iowa with the temporary status. He is happy that the decision came out now so he doesn’t have to worry about that thing in the next 18 months.
U.S. authorities granted Syrians temporary protected status in 2012, one year after the beginning of the war in Syria, and extended it through the end of March, Reuters reminds. The previous administration re-designated Syria’s protected status several times.
The Trump administration recently announced that it would end protected status program for immigrants from El Salvador, Haiti, Nicaragua and Sudan. According to refugee advocates, Trump administration decision not to re-designate Syria’s status ignored the fact that the war in Syria produces new refugees every day.