WASHINGTON [07/19/18]—Today, U.S. Senator Tina Smith released the following statement after the Department of Homeland Security heeded the call and granted an extension of humanitarian protections for hundreds of Somali nationals who have taken refuge in our nation—including many in Minnesota—to escape civil war, human rights abuses and violence in their home country.
“This is a relief for hundreds of people who would have been forced to leave this country—including many in Minnesota,” said Sen. Smith. “I’m glad the Department of Homeland Security heeded the call to extend humanitarian protections for Somalia for 18 months, and now it’s time to work on a long-term solution.”
Earlier this week, Sen. Smith led 21 of her Senate colleagues in calling on Homeland Security Secretary Kirstjen Nielsen and Secretary of State Mike Pompeo, to extend the protections, known as Temporary Protected Status (TPS), for the almost 500 Somali nationals living in the United States. Without the extension of TPS granted today, Somali nationals who are currently living in the United States would have had to quickly return to dangerous conditions in Somalia, or find refuge in another country.