---FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE---

Press contact: Rama Issa, Executive Director   

Email: executivedirector@arabamericanny.org

Phone Number: (347) 948-7738                                                                                                                                                                                                                              

AAANY Statement on SYRIAN TPS EXTENSION 

On behalf of the Arab American and Arab immigrant community, while we welcome and are appreciative of the 18 month extension for Syrian Temporary Protected Status (TPS), we are deeply disappointed this Administration has decided against re-designating Syria as a nation with Temporary Protected Status. Our hearts are with our Syrian clients, staff, and all families that are currently in limbo desperately seeking security as borders are being shut and they are unable to return home. This decision is ultimately condemning Syrians who fled violence and arrived in the United States after September 2016 to return to a nation that even the Trump Administration has acknowledged is one of the most dangerous countries in the world. 

It is unethical and deplorable to shut our doors to Syrian mothers, fathers, and children to a country engaged in its seventh year of civil war. This is the fourth announcement in the last three months to deport hundreds of thousands of innocent people back to countries that cannot sustain the return of its citizens due to ongoing violence and/or natural disaster -- like Haiti and El Salvador. We need to work together to fight for humanity and justice and ensure that our collective voices are heard by this Administration. 

"I think most about my Syrian clients who are stuck, who are unable to renew their Syrian passports due to the lack of Syrian consular presence in the United States and thus cannot return, but live in fear that their lack of legal status will lead to their forced removal back to Syria. I hope that the administration, in their future deliberations on TPS, will also think about these vulnerable Syrians and enforce their right to a stable and protected life in our community".  - Susanna Booth, Immigrant Justice Corps Community Fellow at the Arab American Association of New York

We urge Congress to work together to enact a permanent solution for the hardworking, fully vetted, tax-paying immigrants left behind by today's decision -- and those from Haiti, El Salvador, and Nicaragua still faced forced deportation. We unequivocally stand by all displaced and marginalized persons desperately seeking security and fighting for dignity. 

We call on our community members and allies to share this information so all relevant persons are aware of the recent decision and ask for your support of AAANY to allow us to continue to protect and serve undocumented, displaced, and other persons to ensure their voices are heard and amplified.