Yesterday, The Biden administration announced that it is extending temporary protected status (TPS) for nationals from Yemen. This comes largely in response to an ongoing humanitarian crisis in the war-torn country. The Department of Homeland Security announced an 18-month extension and re-designation of Yemen for TPS, from its current expiration in September through to March 2023. Back in late May, the Biden Administration also granted temporary protected status to Haitian immigrants living in the United States.
TPS protects nationals of designated countries living in the U.S. from potential deportation if they are eligible and also allows them to apply for work permits, as well as giving them the freedom to travel. A country may be designated for TPS due to conditions like ongoing armed conflict, environmental disasters or other extraordinary conditions. Yemen has been submerged in a civil war since 2014 between a government backed by a Saudi-led coalition and Iranian-backed Houthi rebels. The conflict has led to the deaths of 112,000 people and has obliterated the country’s infrastructure. United Nations estimates say 13.5 million Yemenis face food insecurity. In its statement announcing the designation, DHS also pointed to destruction of infrastructure, population displacement and an outbreak of cholera.
DHS projects that approximately 1,700 beneficiaries will be able to retain TPS as long as they meet eligibility requirements and will allow an additional estimated 480 Yemenis living in the U.S. to obtain TPS. The initial 2015 designation was last extended by the Trump administration last year.