STATEMENT – Extending TPS for Syrians Without Re-Designation is a Missed Opportunity for the Administration to Show Humanitarian Leadership
For Immediate Release:
January 31, 2018
WASHINGTON, D.C. – Linda Hartke, President and CEO of Lutheran Immigration and Refugee Service (LIRS), one of the largest refugee resettlement agencies in the U.S., released the following statement following reports that the Administration is expected to extend without re-designation the Temporary Protected Status (TPS) program for citizens of Syria:
“The decision to extend the TPS program for Syrians without a re-designation is a missed opportunity for the Administration to show humanitarian leadership. We are relieved for those who now have some sense of safety due to the temporary extension. The Syrian families who have benefited from TPS are valuable members of our communities — they work hard and pay taxes, they own homes and businesses, and proudly call this country their new home.
However, we cannot overlook that this decision may leave an additional 2,000 Syrians at risk of deportation simply because they arrived in the United States after September 2016. Syria is still in the midst of a civil war, and the Trump Administration has acknowledged it is one of the most dangerous places on earth. The mere possibility of forcing families to return to an active war zone after finding safety in the U.S. is unconscionable.
As Americans, and people of faith, we call on the Trump Administration and the Department of Homeland Security to uphold America’s history of humanitarian leadership and take the necessary steps to re-designate TPS for Syrian citizens who have been forced to flee their homeland.”
Founded in 1939, Lutheran Immigration and Refugee Service is one of the largest refugee resettlement agencies in the United States. It is nationally recognized for its leadership advocating with refugees, asylum seekers, unaccompanied children, immigrants in detention, families fractured by migration and other vulnerable populations. Through more than 75 years of service and advocacy, LIRS has helped over 500,000 migrants and refugees rebuild their lives in America.