Washington, DC – The following is a statement from Sirine Shebaya, senior staff attorney for Muslim Advocates, regarding the Trump administration’s regrettable decision not to redesignate Temporary Protected Status (TPS) for Yemenis.
“While we join in the relief felt by the 1,200 Yemeni TPS-holders and families still protected by the extension, we are deeply concerned by the administration’s failure to redesignate Yemen as a Temporary Protected Status receiving nation.
When reassessing a country’s TPS-status, the Department of Homeland Security is legally obligated, by both national and international law, to consider that country’s current conditions and assess whether the return of a nation’s citizens is feasible.
Yemen –a country besieged by ongoing armed conflict, described as the world’s worst humanitarian crisis by the UN Secretary General – is clearly unprepared to acclimate returning citizens.
This reckless decision is compounded by the Supreme Court’s ruling in favor of Trump’s Muslim Ban, which includes Yemeni nationals. With the ban now indefinitely in place and Yemen TPS not renewed, the administration has, in effect, shut our nation’s doors to Yemenis fleeing for their lives. It is a mistake with potentially catastrophic consequences that speaks volumes about the administration’s larger, ongoing, and well-documented animosity towards people of color and immigrants.
The burden now falls to Congress. This is not a partisan issue; it is, at its core, a values issue. Members of Congress must work together to enact a permanent solution to protect the Yemeni community.”
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.