The Arab American Civic Council joined more than a dozen prominent national advocacy, civil rights, and faith based organizations to endorse a Congressional ‘Dear Colleague’ letter authored by Rep. Debbie Dingell, which calls the Department of Homeland Security and Department of State to extend and re-designate Temporary Protected Status (TPS) for Yemenis in the United States.
The administration must renew the designation by July 5, 2018, or risk the lives of nearly 1,200 Yemeni men, women, and children who have came to the US for refuge.
The outbreak of war and dire situation in Yemen was the initial reason for the TPS designation in 2015, and the re-designation in 2017. However, the violence continues to heighten and over 22 million Yemenis are in need of humanitarian assistance. More than 3 million people are displaced, 200,000 of them seeking refuge abroad.
The letter states, in part:
“The case for extending TPS for the 18-month maximum allowed by the law, and re-designating TPS for eligible Yemenis, is statutorily clear. The armed conflict renders the safe return of roughly 1,200 Yemeni TPS holders in the United States unfeasible and inhumane. The humanitarian crisis represents a “substantial, but temporary, disruption of living conditions” for Yemenis, and the civil war and loss of territory and vital infrastructure renders the Yemeni government “unable, temporarily, to handle adequately the return” of Yemenis (8 U.S.C. §1254a).
“Extending and re-designating TPS for Yemen is also clearly in the interest of America’s national security. Since March 2015, the United States has been involved in a regional military campaign in support of the internationally recognized government and seeks, for the stability of Yemen and its neighbors, a negotiated settlement to the conflict and an amelioration of its resulting humanitarian crisis. The sudden return of 1,200 Yemenis will not only further undermine the international humanitarian response in Yemen, but also undermine America’s standing amongst our allies and give antagonistic states and non-state actors in the region a needless propaganda boon.
“Current TPS recipients from Yemen residing in the United States have contributed greatly to the social and economic welfare of our communities. Failing to extend TPS for Yemenis who have it and re-designate it for eligible individuals will many families in jeopardy and do much to undermine the security of the American homeland.”
The Arab American Civic Council urges the Orange County Congressional delegation to add their names to Rep. Dingell’s letter, in order to ensure the safety of Yemeni families in the United States.