US extends temporary protected status for Syrians by 18 months

US extends temporary protected status for Syrians by 18 months

The Trump administration is extending Temporary Protected Status (TPS) for Syrian immigrants by 18 months, Homeland Security Secretary Kirstjen NielsenKirstjen Michele NielsenActing DHS secretary says he expects Russia to attempt to interfere in 2020 elections House Homeland Security rip DHS's 'unacceptable' failure to comply with subpoena Trump puts Kushner in charge of overseeing border wall construction: report MORE announced Wednesday.

“It is clear that the conditions upon which Syria’s designation was based continue to exist, therefore an extension is warranted under the statute. We will continue to determine each country’s TPS status on a country-by-country basis,” Nielsen said in a statement. 

TPS for Syrians in the U.S. had been set to expire on March 31. The new policy allows current beneficiaries to re-register and renew their TPS status, the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) said.

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The administration estimated there are roughly 7,000 Syrians who benefit from the TPS program, which allows citizens of designated countries that have dealt with man-made or natural disaster to stay in the U.S. legally until their home nations recover.

Much of Syria has been decimated by an ongoing brutal civil war, which led to the TPS designation in the first place.

The Trump administration has generally scaled back TPS designations. DHS earlier this month said it would end protected status for 262,500 people from El Salvador, and late last year ended protected status for 59,000 Haitians.