The Department of Homeland Security has extended Temporary Protected Status (TPS) that is being used by hundreds of Somali immigrants for another 18 months.
In her announcement, Secretary Kirsten Nielsen said the extension was warranted because of the "ongoing armed conflict and extraordinary and temporary conditions that support Somalia's current designation for TPS continue to exist."
Temporary Protected Status allows eligible people whose home countries are in turmoil to live and work in the United States. Recently immigrants from like El Salvador and Haiti lost access to TPS.
According the Department of Homeland Security, there are about 500 Somali TPS beneficiaries in the United States. It is unclear how many Somalis in Maine may be affected by the extension.
Here in Maine, Susan Roche of the Immigrant Legal Advocacy Project says her clients are pleased with the extension.
“We're very pleased to hear that the Administration has made the correct decision,” says Roche. “The conditions in Somalia are not such that people should be forced to return back to Somalia.”
Applicants will be eligible to register for the extension through March of 2020.