Washington, DC | www.adc.org | February 29, 2016 – Recently, representatives and members of American-Arab Anti-Discrimination Committee (ADC) met with Leon Rodriquez, the Director of U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS), to discuss the need for the extension and renewal of TPS for Syria, as well as other issues impacting the Arab American community.
At the meeting, ADC submitted an official petition requesting Department of Homeland Security (DHS) to extend and renew the designation of Syria for Temporary Protected Status (TPS) beyond its current September 2016 expiration date. USCIS is the office within DHS that processes TPS applications. USCIS also plays an important role in the DHS decision to grant or extend TPS designations.
Additionally, ADC sent the TPS petition to DHS Secretary Jeh Johnson. The DHS Secretary has the ultimate authority to designate a country for TPS pursuant to 8 U.S.C. § 1254a if there is an ongoing armed conflict within the state and, due to such conflict, requiring the return of nationals to their home country would pose a serious threat to their personal safety. This decision is made in cosultation with the USCIS. In light of current conditions, extending and renewing the designation of Syria for TPS is an obvious step that the United States must take to help the international community address the needs of Syrians who are fleeing the ongoing armed conflict and humanitarian crisis in Syria.
ADC also discussed the rapidly expanding backlog of applications for asylum and TPS that are currently pending with USCIS. A USCIS report showed that the number of pending asylum cases from Syrian nationals has increased each year since the conflict began, with over 2,000 asylum applications pending in 2015.
ADC will continue working with USCIS to address the delays in processing cases, and urges attorneys and individuals who are experiencing delays to report their experiences to the ADC Legal Department.
Other issues ADC addressed include the lingering impact of NSEERS and opportunities for ongoing engagement between the Arab American community and USCIS.
The ADC Legal Department provides assistance with all immigration related matters, including assistance with TPS and asylum claims. For questions about TPS, contact ADC Legal at 202-244-2990, or send an email to firstname.lastname@example.org.
*March 1, 2016 is the deadline for Yemeni nationals to register for TPS