US announces extension and re-designation to Somalis for Temporary Protected Status

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Somalis living in the United States of America have been given a reprieve by the Homeland Department, following the announcement for extension and re-designation for Temporary Protected Status [TPS].

Homeland Security Secretary Alejandro Mayorkas said Somalis residing in the United States have at least two months to apply for TPS, something which will allow them to continue staying in the country for almost two more years before the same is reviewed.

This now gives at least 447 people with TPS reprieve, the Homeland Department said, adding that another 100 people will also get a chance to apply for TPS for their future stay in the country. Most Somalis end up entering the US as refugees due to the deteriorating situations at home.

Secretary Alejandro Mayorkas said the decision is based on consideration of conditions preventing Somalis from the safe return, including but not limited to violence, drought, floods, food insecurity, COVID-19. The country has been struggling with these calamities.

“The United States will be able to offer safety 7 protection to Somalis who may not be able to return to their country, due to ongoing conflict and a worsening humanitarian crisis,” he said in a statement which was published by Homeland Department.

“The extension of Temporary Protected Status [TPS] for Somalis allows approximately 447 current beneficiaries to retain TPS until March 2023 so long as they meet eligibility requirements,” the statement further read.

A number of Somalis end up getting citizenship in the US after a long stay, and there are a number of them who have joined the country’s politics. For instance, Ilhan Omar, the Minnesota 5th District Representative, was born and partly raised in Somalia.

Ilhan Omar is among many Somalis who have broken odds elsewhere in the world despite a difficult upbringing in Somalia, a country ravaged by inter-clan conflicts, Al-Shabaab threats, floods, and many other calamities. Somalia has been without a stable government since 1991.

Particularly, the Al-Shabaab threat has often bothered the US, which recently insisted that the group is “still very dangerous and we will do everything we can to tame them”. The US is considering deployment of Special Forces after the exit of close to 700 US Africa Command troops, who had been in the country since 2017.

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