RCUSA Urges the Administration to Uphold the Principles Guiding Temporary Protected Status

Washington, DC – RCUSA commends the Administration for extending Temporary Protected Status (TPS) for Syrians already enrolled in the program for an additional 18-months, upholding the principles that determine TPS designation in the US.  However, RCUSA strongly disagrees with the Administration’s illogical and inhumane decision not to redesignate TPS for Syria, prohibiting vulnerable Syrians in the US from receiving this protection and subjecting them to deportation risk simply because they arrived after August 1, 2016.

RCUSA joined many faith, human rights, and community leaders in asking the Administration not only to extend TPS for Syria, but also to redesignate it.  This would provide urgently needed protective status for the nearly 2,000 individuals from Syria who already reside in the US, are contributing to our economy and our communities, but are not yet TPS recipients.   The Administration’s failure to consider the identical circumstances prompting extension in electing not to redesignate arbitrarily puts those individuals and families fleeing war and violence after August 1, 2016 at risk of return to a country this Administration has repeatedly described as one of the most dangerous places on earth.

Speaking today on behalf of the coalition, Hans Van de Weerd, Chair of RCUSA and Vice President of US Programs for the International Rescue Committee, said, “The Administration’s decision not to redesignate TPS is the fourth announcement in the last three months that cumulatively constitute deportation of hundreds of thousands of vulnerable people back to countries (including Haiti, El Salvador, Nicaragua and now Syria) that cannot sustain their return due to ongoing violence and/or natural disaster.”

RCUSA urges the Administration to uphold the principles guiding TPS in forthcoming decisions and our allies in calling on Congress to enact a permanent solution to protect the families left vulnerable by this and other TPS decisions.

Contact: Danielle Grigsby, Associate Director, RCUSA, dgrigsby@rcusa.org