Obama grants protected status to Syrians in U.S. illegally

Monday, August 1, 2016
By Paul Martin

Migrants here on expired visas may also apply for work permits

Aug. 1, 2016

The Obama administration has redesignated war-torn Syria for “temporary protected status” or TPS, meaning almost anyone from Syria who is in the United States on an expired visa can stay here for at least another 18 months.

This includes students, tourists, professors, imams, or those here on various other employment-based visas can continue to stay in the country without fear of deportation.

The move by Homeland Security Secretary Jeh Johnson showed up in the Federal Register Monday. It allows eligible Syrian nationals, or persons without nationality who last resided in Syria, to register or re-register for TPS in accordance with the Federal Register notice published Monday.

The Obama administration has given similar protection to foreign nationals from Somalia, Haiti and other countries racked by war or natural disasters.

Current beneficiaries under Syria’s TPS designation seeking to extend their TPS status must re-register during a 60-day period that runs from Aug. 1, 2016, through Sept. 30, 2016.

“U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) encourages beneficiaries to re-register as soon as possible,” the DHS said in a release.

The Syrians living here past their visa expiration date who are eligible for TPS will also be able to work in the United States.

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