CLINIC Commends Black Immigrant Leaders Who Secured TPS for Cameroon

SILVER SPRING, Maryland – We are grateful that the Biden administration has designated Temporary Protected Status, or TPS, for Cameroon, a decision warranted under both justice and the law. As part of the Temporary Protected Status – Deferred Enforced Departure Administrative Advocacy Coalition, or TPS-DED AAC, CLINIC has been calling for TPS for Cameroon since the Biden administration’s transition as well as during the previous administration. Moving forward, we call on the administration to act more quickly to change and save lives through TPS designations regardless of race. 

“Congress created TPS so that the Department of Homeland Security could quickly provide humanitarian protection to immigrants in the United States who are unable to safely return home because of war, environmental disaster, or other deadly conditions in their country,” said Anna Gallagher, Executive Director at CLINIC. “This administration used TPS as Congress intended in its response to war in Ukraine by designating TPS in a week. When it came to war and humanitarian disaster in Cameroon, they waited for more than a year.”

CLINIC and the TPS-DED AAC recently authored a policy brief discussing why TPS for Black majority countries is so crucial in the inherently racist U.S. immigration system: “As a blanket protection—as opposed to individualized determinations like under U.S. asylum and refugee law—TPS can act as a safety net, able to catch people who slip through other cracks of the system, including due to the systemic racism inherent in our nation’s immigration laws. TPS designations for Black majority countries are particularly impactful in providing life-saving protection especially given disproportionate criminalization, detention, and deportation of Black immigrants in the United States.” 

Lisa Parisio, CLINIC’s Director of Advocacy said: “This life-saving victory was secured by countless hours of work and the extraordinary leadership of Black immigrants, including those at Haitian Bridge Alliance and Cameroon Advocacy Network. While we celebrate, we also pray for and think about the Cameroonians who were deported to danger when TPS should have been in place. Slow-walked TPS designations are deadly and fly in the face of Congressional intent and the values of safe haven that underpin the law. Equitable policy and practice requires that TPS be used broadly, boldly, and immediately to respond to humanitarian crisis for all countries in need.” 

CLINIC calls on the Biden administration to also immediately designate TPS for Ethiopia and Mauritania.