Minneapolis (HOL) – With just five days remaining in their mandate, The Department of Homeland Security has extended the Temporary Protected Status (TPS) for Somali immigrants living in the United States for an additional 18 months, according to a statement released yesterday.
The current status was set to expire on March 17. Under the extension, Somali nationals, and “eligible individuals without nationality who last habitually resided in Somalia,” are eligible to re-register and maintain their status through September 17, 2018.
TPS is granted to residents or citizens of a country that cannot return safely due to conditions. Currently, 13 nations are eligible for TPS and they are, El Salvador, Guinea, Haiti, Honduras, Liberia, Nepal, Nicaragua, Sierra Leone, Somalia, South Sudan, Sudan, Syria and Yemen.
Minnesota Senator Amy Klobuchar welcomed the decision by DHS to extend protection status to Somali’s.
“Minnesota is home to the largest population of Somali immigrants in the United States – they are our friends, our co-workers, and our neighbors,” Klobuchar said. “Returning to Somalia at this time could put many Somalis and their families in grave danger. This extension of Temporary Protected Status will help ensure that they can stay safe and out of harm’s way.”
Somalia was first designated for TPS in 2001 by George W. Bush as a result of armed conflict within the country and was extended by President Obama in 2012.