Acting Department of Homeland Security (DHS) Secretary Kevin McAleenan renewed a temporary amnesty program for about 7,000 Syrian nationals who have been allowed to remain in the United States since 2012.
On Thursday, McAleenan announced that he would extend Temporary Protected Status (TPS) for thousands of Syrian nationals living across the U.S. for 18 months — meaning 7,000 Syrians will be allowed to remain in the country through March 21, 2021.
A DHS statement read:
Following careful consideration of available information, including recommendations received as part of an inter-agency consultation process, the Acting Secretary determined that the conditions supporting Syria’s designation for TPS continue to exist. Thus, under the applicable statute, the current TPS designation must be extended.
Since March 2012, Syrian nationals — who would otherwise be illegal aliens — living in the U.S. have been able to work and take jobs.
The Trump administration has been approving and renewing TPS for foreign nationals in the U.S. at Obama era levels. For instance, in Fiscal Year 2018, the Trump administration approved TPS for more than 258,000 foreign nationals. This is about the same level of TPS approvals as Fiscal Year 2015, when Obama was in office.