CLINIC Lauds New Designation of Temporary Protected Status for Burma

SILVER SPRING, Maryland — Today, the Biden administration announced a new designation of Temporary Protected Status, or TPS, for Burma, in light of a military coup and the deepening humanitarian crisis there. This is the administration’s second new TPS designation, following the TPS for Venezuela announcement on March 8, 2021. Together, they mark the first new TPS designations in six years.

“We commend the Biden administration’s action to protect Burmese nationals in the United States from deportation to life-threatening danger and devastation in Burma,” said Anna Gallagher, executive director at the Catholic Legal Immigration Network, Inc. “Congress created TPS to protect people from real and present risks to their lives and freedoms, exactly the type of situation that is unfolding today.”

NPR reports that 1,600 people could benefit from the Burma TPS designation, per a senior Biden administration official. CLINIC and partners have called for the administration to use TPS broadly and boldly to protect nationals from at least 18 countries, including Haiti, Cameroon and Mauritania.

Since the Feb. 1, 2021, coup, already dangerous conditions in Burma deteriorated, as armed security forces cracked down on protestors and disrupted humanitarian and medical flights. U.S. Ambassador to Burma, Linda Thomas-Greenfield, stated, “The United States will continue to work with a broad coalition of international partners to promote accountability for the coup and those responsible for violence, and will work to restore the democratically-elected government.”

“With this new designation of TPS for Burma, we see the Biden administration recognize the role that TPS can and should play in broader foreign policy. This designation makes clear that protecting nationals in the U.S. is an essential piece of a response to a humanitarian crisis,” said Lisa Parisio, advocacy attorney for policy at CLINIC. “As we applaud this decision, we call on the administration to continue to use new TPS designations, as well as redesignations, for people from Haiti, Cameroon, Mauritania and other nations in need. No one should be deported to harm.”