Press Releases

CAIR Action Alert: Urge DHS Secretary to Extend Temporary Protected Status (TPS) for Somalis Living in U.S.

(WASHINGTON, DC, 7/16/18) — The Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR), the nation’s largest Muslim civil rights and advocacy organization, is calling on Department of Homeland Security (DHS) Secretary Kirstjen Nielsen to extend and redesignate Temporary Protected Status (TPS) for some 500 Somalia nationals living in the United States.

TPS for Somalia nationals living in the United States expires on September 17, and DHS is expected to make its decision on extending and redesignating the status by July 19.

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.”

The State Department’s travel advisory for Somalia warns U.S. citizens to “not travel” to the country due to “crime, terrorism, and piracy.”


CAIR is urging all Americans to call the Department of Homeland Security Public Comment Line at 202-282-8495 and leave the following message seeking the re-designation of Somali immigrant’s TPS status:


This is [State Your Name]. Out of concern I am calling to advise the Department of Homeland Security and U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services to redesignate and extend the Temporary Protected Status of Somali immigrants living and working in the U.S.

This recommendation is based on U.S. Department of State advising Americans to not travel to Somalia due to the possible threat of crime, terrorism, and piracy. Somali immigrants living in the U.S. deserve the same consideration when it comes to their personal safety and wellbeing.

Thank you.”

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.” At present, the State Department advises U.S. citizens to also not travel to Yemen.

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 questions 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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