July 5, 2018

---FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE---

Press contact: Rama Issa, Executive Director   

Email: executivedirector@arabamericanny.org

Phone Number: (347) 948-7738   

AAANY Statement on Yemen TPS Extension 

The Arab American and Arab immigrant community welcomes the 18 month extension for Yemen Temporary Protected Status (TPS), but are deeply disappointed that this administration has decided against re-designating Yemen as a nation with Temporary Protected Status. We stand with the thousand of Yemenis who are currently stuck in limbo and are now unable to seek safety and security for their families.

Not re-designating means that all Yemenis who have arrived to the U.S. after January 4, 2017 will not be able to apply for TPS and are at risk of deportation. This news come a week after SCOTUS decided to uphold the latest iteration of the Muslim Ban, suspending all immigrant, B-1, and B-2 visas for Yemeni nationals. Today’s decision is part of an ongoing effort to attack and dehumanize the Yemeni community which has fled crisis, by shutting the doors on our borders once again and denying them the opportunity to live free from harm.

According to the United Nations, Yemen has been cited as the world’s worst humanitarian crisis with over 3 million Yemenis displaced, 8 million near starvation, and the largest cholera outbreak in history. Only 1,200 Yemenis  have been granted TPS since the start of the civil war. If a country with the world’s worst humanitarian crisis isn’t eligible for re-designation, what are the determining factors for a country to be re-designated? This decision does not bode well for the future of the program.

The news about Yemen TPS is a continuation of this administration’s racist and xenophobic policies that target our immigrant communities. This follows a series of decisions regarding TPS for Haiti, El Salvador, Nicaragua, and Syria - forcing thousands of families to leave their homes and return to unsafe and unstable environments. Despite today’s decision, we remain committed to all of those who are directly impacted by these discriminatory policies.