Thursday, July 19, 2018

Homeland Security to Decide Legal Protections for 500 Somalis in US

(VOA) - The U.S. Department of Homeland Security is due to decide Thursday whether it will extend temporary legal protections to about 500 Somalis who sought refuge in the United States.

The majority of those who would be affected live in Minnesota, which is home to the nation's largest community of Somali Americans.

About 22 U.S. senators have sent a letter to Homeland Security Secretary Kirstjen Nielsen urging the extension of Temporary Protected Status (TPS) for Somali nationals who have taken refuge in the U.S. after escaping conflict and violence in Somalia.

Senator Tina Smith of Minnesota, who is leading the effort, told VOA Somali the danger still exist in Somalia, and revoking the TPS either would send Somalis back to their homeland or to seek refuge in another country. This drama could break families apart and create a humanitarian crisis.

Right now, their status is set to expire September 17, 2018.