Syrians in the United States have been given Temporary Protected Status (TPS), Secretary of Homeland Security Janet Napolitano announced.
“Conditions in Syria have worsened to the point where Syrian nationals already in the United States would face serious threats to their personal safety if they were to return to their home country,” she said in a statement released Friday afternoon.
Next week DHS will publish a notice in the Federal Register that will provide TPS eligibility requirements and registration procedures. All applicants will have to undergo full background checks.
DHS designates a country's citizens for TPS because of ongoing armed conflict, major environmental disasters, and other “extraordinary and temporary conditions.” Once granted TPS, an individual cannot be detained on the basis of his or her immigration status, according to DHS. Individuals are not removable from the United States and are authorized to work and travel in the United States.
TPS can be denied for individuals who have been convicted of a felony, engaged in terrorism, or fail to meet TPS requirements.
Countries currently designated for TPS are El Salvador, Haiti, Honduras, Nicaragua, Somalia, Sudan, and South Sudan.