US lets Somali immigrants stay 18 more months

Report
from EastAfrican
Published on 21 Jul 2018 View Original

In Summary

  • Trump administration to allow some 500 Somali immigrants to remain in the US for at least another 18 months.

  • Washington said it arrived at the decision considering the "ongoing armed conflict and extraordinary conditions" in Somalia.

  • Somalis in the US were first deemed eligible for the special status in 1991 when their country erupted into civil war.

By KEVIN J KELLEY

The Trump administration announced on Thursday that it will allow some 500 Somali immigrants to remain in the US for at least another 18 months.

Washington said it arrived at the decision considering the "ongoing armed conflict and extraordinary conditions" in Somalia.

Somalis in the US with Temporary Protected Status will be able to re-register for an extension of their status through March 17, 2020, according to a statement from the Department of Homeland Security.

Mustafa Jumale, the head of an advocacy group for black immigrants, had earlier warned that terminating protection status for Somalis “would essentially be a death sentence”.

The Trump administration has stepped up deportations of immigrants who have not been granted immigration designation in the country.

Last year, 521 undocumented Somalis were ejected from the US, compared to 198 in 2016.

Somalis in the US were first deemed eligible for the special status in 1991 when their country erupted into civil war following the ouster of the then President Siad Barre's military regime.

Temporary permission to remain in the US has been extended 22 times because of the ongoing armed conflict in Somalia.

Trump administration has also extended protection status for those fleeing war and hunger in South Sudan, Yemen and Syria.