Thursday, July 22, 2021
Earlier this week, Secretary of Homeland Security Alejandro N. Mayorkas announced an 18-month extension and re-designation of Somalia for Temporary Protected Status (TPS). This extension and re-designation will be in effect from September 18, 2021, through March 17, 2023.
“Through the extension and re-designation of Somalia for Temporary Protected Status, the United States will be able to offer safety and protection to Somalis who may not be able to return to their country, due to ongoing conflict and a worsening humanitarian crisis,” said Mayorkas in a statement. “We will continue to offer our support to Somali nationals through this temporary form of humanitarian relief.”
The International Rescue Committee (IRC) welcomed the Biden administration’s extension of TPS for Somalis, protecting the approximately 500 TPS recipients that arrived since 1991 when Somalia was first designated. The IRC also renewed its call for a permanent, sustainable pathway to safety in the United States. Congress in the last few years has considered legislation that would create a pathway to durable immigration status for TPS recipients. "Somalia has suffered decades of conflict, disaster, persistent drought, and food insecurity - all of which continue to affect vulnerable populations in Somalia and reduce humanitarian access, resulting in high levels of displacement that continues to rise," said Richard Crothers, Somalia Country Director at the International Rescue Committee. "The situation remains fragile to this day as this year’s severe drought and subsequent flooding continue to exacerbate an already precarious situation.”