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Grassroots Action Center

Take Action to Protect Syrian TPS Holders
Temporary Protected Status is a life-saving program extended to people who cannot return to their country of origin due to temporarily unsafe conditions. For instance, the Secretary of Homeland Security might designate a country eligible for Temporary Protected Status if the country is experiencing an ongoing armed conflict or an environmental disaster. A person who is found eligible for Temporary Protected Status is allowed to remain the United States without fear of detention. Additionally, they are able to obtain employment authorization documentation and may be granted travel authorization.

Urgent action is needed today to ensure the continuation of the Temporary Protected Status designation for Syrians. Ask the Department of Homeland Security to grant an 18-month extension and re-designate Temporary Protected Status for Syrians.

In 2012, Syria was designated for Temporary Protected Status due to the outbreak of a violent civil war. Since then, Syria's Temporary Protected Status has been renewed four times, and there are currently 7,000 people living in the United States with Temporary Protected Status. Conditions remain unsafe and unstable in Syria. Civilians are frequently injured or killed during recurring airstrikes. Those who survive live in uncertainty and fear due to ongoing bombings of public infrastructure, mass food insecurity and lack of access to basic medical care. As of March 2018, 511,000 Syrians have died in the conflict, 6.6 million are internally displaced and 5.6 million are displaced around the world. In the past ten days alone, over 100 civilians have been killed in the conflict.

The Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.) has been in relationship with the people of Syria since the early 1800s when missionaries were sent to the Middle East. In 2018, when the Department of Homeland Security was determining whether or not to extend Temporary Protected Status for Syrians, the Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.) joined a letter signed with 50 other faith groups and human rights organizations urging the Department in favor of the extension.

On August 1, 2019, the secretary of Homeland Security will again have the opportunity to decide whether to extend and/or re-designate Syria's Temporary Protected Status. Electing to extend and re-designate Syria's Temporary Protected Status, would protect thousands of lives. Without Temporary Protected Status, the 7,000 Syrians currently holding Temporary Protected Status would lose their protections and potentially be deported back to an area of conflict rife with human rights abuses.

Urgent action is needed today to ensure the continuation of the Temporary Protected Status designation for Syrians. Ask the Department of Homeland Security to grant an 18-month extension and re-designate Temporary Protected Status for Syrians.

Donations to assist displaced Syrian families can be sent to Presbyterian Disaster Assistance here.
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