Muslim Advocates Condemns the Administration’s Failure to Redesignate TPS for Somalia

“It is not only a mistake, it is a death sentence.”

Washington, DC – The following is a statement from Sirine Shebaya, senior staff attorney at Muslim Advocates, regarding President Donald Trump, the Department of Homeland Security (DHS), and DHS Secretary Kirstjen Nielsen’s failure to redesignate Temporary Protected Status for Somalia:

“While we join in the relief felt by the 250 Somali TPS-holders and their families still protected by the extension, we are distressed by the administration’s failure to redesignate Somalia as a Temporary Protected Status receiving nation. Today’s decision, when taken with the other TPS announcements, effectively phases out the program, as the Trump administration failed to redesignate a single country.

When reassessing a country’s TPS status, the Department of Homeland Security is legally obligated to assess the respective country’s current conditions to determine whether the return of a nation’s citizens is feasible. It’s clear that the Trump administration did not even consider these laws.

Somalia has been plagued by violence, civil war, and natural disasters for many years and is completely unprepared to resettle returning citizens.

Extremist groups in Somalia are also widely known to specifically target Somalis returning from outside of the country for persecution, sexual violence, forced conscription, and murder. This violence is compounded by recent natural disasters, including the April 2018 flooding, which displaced nearly 300,000 people and affected over 800,000 residents.

Today’s decision speaks to the administration’s larger, ongoing, and well-documented animosity towards people of color and immigrants.

It is not only a mistake, it is a death sentence.”

Muslim Advocates is a national legal advocacy and educational organization that works on the frontlines of civil rights to guarantee freedom and justice for Americans of all faiths.