Press Releases

CAIR Disappointed in DHS Decision Not to Redesignate TPS for Somalis in U.S.

Temporary Protective Status only extended for 18 months, after which deportation is possible

(WASHINGTON, D.C., 7/19/18) – The Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR) today expressed disappointment that the Trump administration decided to not redesignate Temporary Protective Status (TPS) for some 500 Somali nationals currently in the United States.

By only extending TPS for 18 months for Somalis – and not redesignating their status – the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) is condemning families who fled violence in Somalia with the prospect of being deported to a country that the State Department warns “not travel” to due to “crime, terrorism, and piracy.”

“Extending TPS for 18 months for Somalis offers only immediate relief,” said CAIR Director of Government Affairs Robert McCaw. “However, we are disappointed that the Trump administration is condemning Somali TPS-holders to deportation to an area of the world in which their lives would be in danger.”

On Monday, CAIR joined other national civil and human rights organizations in calling on DHS Secretary Kirstjen Nielsen to extend TPS for Somali nationals.

On Tuesday, the Minnesota chapter of the CAIR-MN held a joint news conference with a coalition of Immigrant rights organizations to also urge for a reinstatement of TPS.

CAIR Video: CAIR-MN Calls for Extension of TPS for Somalis in U.S.

TPS is not a pathway to citizenship but is instead a temporary humanitarian program created by Congress in 1990, to suspend deporting nationals with expired visas to countries that have been devastated by war or catastrophe.

Somalia was the first country designated for TPS in 1991 due to armed conflict and ongoing humanitarian crises related to civil war in that country. TPS for Somalia was extended by DHS for 18 months in 2017, stating that the “security situation in Somalia remains fragile and volatile” and that “Somalia continues to experience a complex protracted emergency that is one of the worst humanitarian crises in the world.”

On July 5, Security Nielsen announced her decision to extend TPS designation for Yemen for 18 months, with DHS citing “ongoing armed conflict and extraordinary and temporary conditions that support Yemen’s current designation for TPS continue to exist.”

CAIR previously condemned termination of TPS for Salvadorans and urged redesignation for Syrians and Yemenis living in U.S. While CAIR welcomed the recent 18 month extension of TPS for Syrians living in the U.S., it continues to question why the Trump Administration did not extend that protection to Syrians who legally traveled to the U.S. after August 1, 2016 – especially when the State Department continues to urge Americans not travel to Syria due to the possible threat of terrorism, civil unrest and armed conflict.

Community members are being urged to report any bias incidents to police and to CAIR’s Civil Rights Department at 202-742-6420 or by filing a report at:   

CAIR is America’s largest Muslim civil liberties and advocacy organization. Its mission is to enhance understanding of Islam, protect civil rights, promote justice, and empower American Muslims.

La misión de CAIR es proteger las libertades civiles, mejorar la comprensión del Islam, promover la justicia, y empoderar a los musulmanes en los Estados Unidos.

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CONTACT: CAIR Government Affairs Director Robert McCaw, 202-742-6448,; CAIR National Communications Director Ibrahim Hooper, 202-744-7726,



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