U.S. officials cite the ongoing war in Yemen, the humanitarian crisis and the COVID pandemic as reasons for the 18-month TPS extension.
The Biden administration has extended a program that allows Yemenis already in the United States to stay in the country without fear of deportation, saying ongoing conflict and the humanitarian crisis in Yemen poses no danger to their return.
The renowned Temporary Protected State (TPS) designation will allow about 1,700 Yemenis to maintain their status until March 3, 2023, and allow an additional 480 Yemenis to apply, the Department of Homeland Security said. in a statement on Tuesday.
“Yemen continues to experience poor humanitarian and economic conditions that prevent individuals from returning safely to their homes,” said DHS Secretary Alejandro Mayorkas.
Mayorkas cited the ongoing armed conflict in Yemen, the lack of access to food, water and health, as well as the deterioration of the COVID-19 pandemic economic and humanitarian situation as one of the reasons for the decision.
Today, @Corse_Matin announced an 18-month extension and a Yemeni renaming to the Temporary Protected State #TPS. This extension and renaming will be in effect from September 4, 2021, until March 3, 2023.
Read more ⬇️https://t.co/vLcrMcXdY2
– Homeland Security (@DHSgov) July 6, 2021
TPS for Yemenis was due in September. The program does not automatically give him a path to American citizenship, but allows him to work in the United States and stay in the country without fear of deportation.
In 2014, the Houthi armed group took control of large parts of Yemen, including the capital, Sanaa. The conflict intensified significantly in March 2015 when a military coalition of regional countries – led by Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates – intervened to try to re-establish the government of President Abd-Rabbu Mansour Hadi. .
The war in Yemen has led to what the UN has described as the world’s worst humanitarian crisis, with tens of thousands dead, millions displaced and two-thirds of its 30 million population dependent on aid. .
UN Office for the Rights of the Child (UNICEF) he said in a report this week that millions of Yemeni children are seeking humanitarian and emergency education assistance. “Children remain the primary victims of this terrible crisis, with 11.3 million in need of some form of humanitarian aid or protective assistance,” he said.
Meanwhile, U.S. President Joe Biden has faced pressure from rights groups and members of his own Democratic Party to end Washington’s support for Saudi-led forces in Yemen, which with the Houthis were accused of having committed war crimes during the ongoing conflict.
In February, Biden announced ended US support for coalition “offensive operations” in Yemen and halted arms sales in Saudi Arabia that had been previously approved by the Trump administration.
A group of influential U.S. lawmakers in May also urged Biden to helping to raise $ 2.5 billion in aid for Yemenis suffering under the humanitarian crisis.
The administration’s actions are at odds with Biden’s predecessor, Donald Trump, who sought to phase out the program – an effort that has been slowed by legal challenges.