DHS allows more Syrian refugees to enter US, but who’s watching them?

In response to the Syrian civil war which, as of March, entered into its third year, on Monday the Department of Homeland Security published new regulations that will allow thousands more Syrian refugees into the United States.

Syrian refugee
Syrian refugee in Turkey

According to DHS estimates, approximately 9,000 refugees can be expected to qualify for for an 18-month Temporary Protected Status. This is in addition to the 2,600 Syrian refugees who have already arrived and are eligible to renew their status on Sept. 30, according to The Hill.

“The extension of the current Syria TPS designation and re-designation is due to the continued disruption of living conditions in the country that are a result of the extraordinary and temporary conditions that led to the initial TPS designation of Syria in 2012,” the Homeland Security Department said. “The extension is based on ongoing armed conflict in that region and the continued deterioration of country conditions.”

The TPS status allows the refugees to not only live in the United States, but also to work and travel freely.

Jordan and Turkey have taken in the majority of refugees, estimated at 1.5 million, who have fled a civil war resulted in approximately 100,000 casualties.

As reported by The Hill:

Last week, the administration announced that they would provide military assistance to rebel forces seeking the ouster of Syrian President Bashar Assad. Many lawmakers, though, fear the actions are coming too late with Assad’s forces racking up a number of battlefield wins.

The United States is a generous nation and is always among the first to respond to a crisis. Unlike more restrictive governments, our record keeping leaves something to be desired. After people arrive — whether on a student visa, tourist visa, work visa or, as here, a Temporary Protected Status — we tend to lose track of them.

Although I hope DHS does a better job monitoring the Syrian refugees than they have the others, I’m not going to hold my breath.


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