Extension of Temporary Protected Status for South Sudan Welcome but Not Enough

By Oxfam

In response to the Trump administration’s decision to extend but not redesignate Temporary Protected Status (TPS) for South Sudanese living in the United States, Lia Lindsey, Oxfam America’s Senior Humanitarian Policy Advisor, made the following statement:

"We are relieved that the Trump administration has decided to extend Temporary Protected Status (TPS) for South Sudanese living in the United States. But we’re disappointed that TPS has not been redesignated, leaving many South Sudanese in the US at risk of forcible return to a country plagued by ongoing instability, hunger, and sexual violence.

“Five years of devastating conflict has left the country as one of the world’s most insecure, with over six million people severely hungry and more than four million people forced from their homes. Humanitarian aid has saved countless lives and we’re seeing progress in the peace process, but the conflict has left more South Sudanese hungry now than ever before, with certain parts of the country suffering catastrophic levels of hunger. South Sudanese women and girls are bearing the brunt of the conflict, with widespread sexual violence and early marriage.

“We are grateful the US has acknowledged that conditions in South Sudan are unfit for the return of TPS holders. Continuing to grant TPS will not solve the conflict in South Sudan but is the least we can do for the South Sudanese who have arrived in the US seeking safety and protection. But while the decision provides a temporary respite for the 84 South Sudanese in the US currently with TPS, it does nothing to help other South Sudanese in the US who cannot apply for TPS.

“The Trump administration has terminated TPS designations for nearly every country, despite clear indicators that conditions in the countries are unsafe for returnees. Rather than continue to slam our doors, the US should find ways to uphold our longstanding history of being a safe haven and place of opportunity for the world’s most vulnerable. Oxfam urges Congress to pass legislation allowing TPS holders to stay in the US permanently.”

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