Washington, DC | www.adc.org | February 7, 2012 — As a result of the increase in violence plaguing Syria, this afternoon the American-Arab Anti-Discrimination Committee (ADC) sent a follow-up letter to Secretary Janet Napolitano of the Department of Homeland Security (DHS). Since filing the petition, ADC has been in contact with DHS, several Congressional Members, and Gubernatorial offices, civil leaders on a state and local level, as well as the appropriate government agencies — all in an effort to further stress the importance of granting the TPS request.
ADC remains persistent in its request for a TPS grant. The relentless violence and escalation of force in Syria requires immediate action. The United Nations and human rights organizations have estimated over 6,000 civilian deaths since the beginning of the uprising in March of 2011. Strikingly, in recent months the violence and killings have drastically increased. This continued rise of violence has caused major European states, including the United Kingdom, Italy, France, Spain and the Netherlands, to withdraw their ambassadors from Syria. Most importantly, the U.S. closed its embassy and pulled out all remaining staff in Damascus, Syria on February 6.
A TPS designation will allow nationals of Syria to remain in the U.S. on a temporary basis until the violence ends or subsides. In the spirit of human dignity and for the respect of universal human rights, ADC is encouraging and calling upon the U.S. to support a TPS for Syrian nationals. The situation in Syria is one of a dire humanitarian crisis. Consequently, granting the TPS request allows the U.S. to save lives and take a proactive measure in helping assist innocent Syrian civilians.
On the 25th of January ADC submitted the formal request, in close coordination with Syrian Emergency Task Force (SETF) and United for Free Syria (UFS) and Syrian Expats. Since the filing of the petition the list of endorsing organizations supporting the effort has grown to include the Syrian American Council (SAC), Syrian Americans for Democracy (SAD), Syrian American Medical Society (SAMS), the National Syrian Coordination Body and the Coalition for a Free Syria.
Community Advisory for Syrian Nationals Currently in the US
Additionally, a Community Advisory was announced this week asking US residents that know of a Syrian national facing an immigration matter which may force a return to Syria to contact the ADC Legal Department.
The Legal Department has, and will continue, to focus on assisting Syrian nationals on a pro bono basis.