CHICAGO – The National Immigrant Justice Center condemns the Trump administration’s failure to re-designate Yemen for Temporary Protected Status (TPS), despite its decision to extend TPS for the approximately 1,200 Yemenis who currently have the protection. This failure to re-designate forces Yemenis who fled violence and arrived in the United States after the January 2017 deadline to face deportation back to civil war, disease, and famine.
The administration has already ended TPS for 98 percent of current TPS recipients. This announcement—on the heels of the Supreme Court’s decision to uphold the shameful ban on five majority-Muslim countries including Yemen—is further evidence of the administration's needless and racially motivated attack on all immigrants.
Yemen has suffered three years of civil war, in which the United States is involved; millions are without access to clean drinking water, which has caused a cholera outbreak; and a shortage of basic necessities including food has led to famine. According to United Nations Secretary-General Antonio Guterres, the situation in Yemen is the world’s worst humanitarian crisis, with more than 40,000 casualties as of March 2018.
The Obama administration granted temporary protected status to Yemenis in September 2015, six months after Yemen’s civil war began. Three years later the war continues and Yemenis are still suffering.
“To deny Temporary Protected Status to people fleeing a raging civil war, hunger, and disease, reveals this administration’s true heartlessness and irresponsibility,” said National Immigrant Justice Center Executive Director Mary Meg McCarthy, “This decision adds to the Trump administration’s terrible track record of stripping individuals’ legal status and destroying countless families and communities. If we are truly a country of compassion and a beacon of hope for those seeking safety, we should prove it.”