CLINIC Lauds Extension and Redesignation of TPS for Somalia

SILVER SPRING, Maryland — The Department of Homeland Security announced today the maximum Temporary Protected Status protection for Somalia, with an 18-month extension and redesignation. This decision will provide life-saving protection from the ongoing humanitarian crisis in Somalia to 550 people.

“The redesignation of TPS for Somalia is crucial,” said Anna Gallagher, CLINIC’s executive director. “Somalia TPS has not been redesignated since 2012 meaning that Somali people who entered the U.S. in the last decade were excluded from TPS protection, despite violence against civilians, gross human rights abuses, and other grave circumstances which has left nearly six million people in Somalia in need of humanitarian assistance. This decision was correct under the law and our values as Americans to offer safe haven, welcome, and protection to those in greatest need.”

The leadership of organizations including African Communities Together was crucial in securing this humanitarian victory for Black immigrants. CLINIC joined more than 100 organizations in calling on DHS Secretary Mayorkas to make this decision to provide maximum protection for Somalia.

“TPS is a key piece of U.S. humanitarian immigration law and policy because it uniquely provides blanket protection to all nationals of a country, as opposed to individualized protection,” said Lisa Parisio, CLINIC’s advocacy director. “In that, TPS can safeguard people who may slip through the cracks of our asylum system, including due to systemic racism, but are still in need of lifesaving protection.”

In 2020, CLINIC and the Black Alliance for Just Immigration published a stories collection illustrating how easy it is for Black asylum-seekers to be unfairly denied this protection and, in turn, how TPS becomes even more vital to keep them safe.

“The Biden administration has pledged to address anti-Black systemic racism in our country,” added Parisio. “Not only must immigration be part of that work, but as a blanket protection, the bold and broad use of TPS should be a pillar. We call on the administration to follow this life-saving TPS decision for Somalia with immediate designations for Cameroon, Mauritania and Ethiopia.”