PRESS RELEASE: FAN Decries Failure to Redesignate TPS for Yemenis

Immediate Release
July 6, 2018
Media Contact: Janine Walsh
(203) 685-1856

FAN Decries Failure to Redesignate TPS for Yemenis

Washington, DC - Like many others in this country, members of Franciscan Action Network have watched with horror images of starving Yemeni children and their anguished parents experiencing what the UN Secretary General called “the world’s worst humanitarian crisis.”  While Yemeni TPS (Temporary Protected Status) holders in the United States welcome the respite they recently received from the DHS decision to extend their status for 18 months, DHS’s failure to redesignate TPS for Yemen means that more recently arrived Yemenis will not be able to protect themselves from the ongoing civil war and its devastating impacts in Yemen.  FAN decries this cruel decision by the Administration.

FAN has opposed DHS failure to extend TPS to several countries experiencing upheaval and violence, notably Haiti, Nicaragua, El Salvador and Honduras.  Conditions in Yemen are particularly horrific, with thousands of children dying from starvation and a cholera epidemic now sweeping the country.  “With the administration’s decision not to redesignate Yemen as a country with Temporary Protected Status,” said FAN Executive Director Patrick Carolan,” they are cruelly returning families who fled the violence of war and arrived in the United States after the deadline.  Moreover, the United States provides arms for the war which has created the humanitarian crisis.”

Temporary Protected Status (or TPS) is granted to citizens of designated countries where conditions in their home country temporarily prevent people from returning safely. What’s happening in Yemen is a perfect example of why TPS is necessary.  Now in the fourth year of a civil war, more than two million people are internally displaced in Yemen.  The food crisis continues to increase with more than 17.4 million food insecure people and at least 8.4 million experiencing severe hunger and even starvation. More than 130 children die every day from hunger and disease.  Bombings affect at least half of Yemen’s hospitals and health facilities and deliberately target public water systems.

According to law, the Department of Homeland Security must consider the conditions of the home country and determine whether the return of a country’s citizens is feasible.  If Yemen does not meet the Administration’s criteria under the law, the standard is meaningless.  FAN calls on Congress to enact a bi-partisan solution for the fully vetted, tax-paying, hard-working immigrants left behind by this decision, and those from Haiti, El Salvador, Nicaragua and Honduras still facing deportation.