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Press Release // Immigration and Asylum

LIRS Commends Biden Administration for its Extension and Re-Designation of Yemen for Temporary Protected Status

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LIRS Staff

July 13, 2021

Contact: Kimberly Uslin | | 717-479-2932

Washington D.C. –  Lutheran Immigration and Refugee Service commends Secretary of Homeland Security Alejandro Mayorkas for his announcement of an 18-month extension and re-designation of Temporary Protected Status (TPS) for Yemen. The decision affects approximately 1,700 current Yemeni TPS holders and will allow for nearly 500 additional Yemen nationals to apply for protected status.

Mayorkas’ decision to extend and re-designate Yemen for TPS acknowledges the perilous conditions that make it impossible for Yemeni nationals to safely return to their home country, including ongoing armed conflict, “lack of access to food, water, and healthcare; large-scale destruction of Yemen’s infrastructure; significant population displacement; an ongoing cholera outbreak since 2016; and the COVID-19 pandemic’s worsening of a dire economic and humanitarian situation.”

Krish O’Mara Vignarajah, president and CEO of Lutheran Immigration and Refugee Service, offered the following statement on the announcement: 

“Secretary Mayorkas’ extension and re-designation of Yemen for Temporary Protected Status is a literal lifeline for Yemeni nationals residing in the United States. The United States could not, in good conscience, force the Yemeni people to return to a country experiencing what the United Nations has called ‘the largest humanitarian crisis in the world.’ Escalating violence, warring factions, deteriorating infrastructure, and widespread internal displacement worsen countrywide extreme poverty, resource scarcity, lack of access to healthcare, creating conditions that are by all accounts unlivable. The extension and re-designation is more than a bureaucratic policy change; it is a chance at survival for the more than 2,000 Yemeni nationals living in the United States.

We continue to urge Secretary Mayorkas and the administration to promptly publish and implement TPS decisions and to utilize its TPS authority to provide protection for thousands of people in desperate need, including those from Somalia, Mauritania, and Cameroon.”

Founded in 1939, Lutheran Immigration and Refugee Service (LIRS) is one of the largest immigration and refugee resettlement agencies in the United States. LIRS is nationally recognized for its leadership working with and advocating for refugees, asylum seekers, unaccompanied children, immigrants in detention, families fractured by migration and other vulnerable populations. Through 80 years of service and advocacy, LIRS has helped over 500,000 migrants and refugees rebuild their lives in America.

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