Louisiana Immigration Law Firm

Ashley Dees LLC is now Berry Appleman & Leiden LLP. Please visit www.bal.com for more information.

Syrian Refugees & Temporary Protected Status

If you follow global current events, you are undoubtedly familiar with the current civil war crisis in Syria. The conflict has actually been ongoing for more than four years, and was sparked by the 2011 torture and killing of teenagers who painted pro-revolutionary slogans on the wall of a school. Since then, nationwide protests have erupted into violent conflicts between rebel groups and government forces.

On August 21, 2015, the conflict became the focus of much more international attention after U.S. government investigators concluded that the Syrian government had used chemical weapons against their own people, in the form of the nerve gas sarin.

Since the protests first began, more than 4 million refugees have fled Syria. Many of these refugees are settling in nearby Jordan, but many more are heading to Europe and North America. This raises serious questions about their immigration rights, and their ability to legally enter the United States.

What is Temporary Protected Status (TPS)?

Temporary protected status is essentially a provisional type of asylum. In the United States, a foreign country may be designated for temporary protected status under certain circumstances. These conditions include, but are not limited to:

  • An ongoing civil war or other armed conflict
  • Hurricanes, tsunamis, or other environmental disasters
  • An epidemic
  • Other “extraordinary and temporary conditions”

How Does This Affect Syrian Refugees?

Syria has been TPS designated since January 5, 2015, and will be designated through at least September 30, 2016. During this designated period, Syrian refugees with TPS who are living in the United States will enjoy the following benefits:

  • They cannot be removed from the United States.
  • They are able to obtain employment authorization documents.
  • They may be granted authorization to travel.
  • Cannot be detained by the Department of Homeland Security based on immigration status.

The drawback to TPS is that it can create a strange situation for refugees, as it offers them no path to get a green card. This means that Syrian refugees must choose whether to apply for TPS, or risk everything applying for full asylum. Under TPS, these individuals have no recourse to bring their family members over to the U.S., even children and spouses.

Dealing with an Immigration Issue? Call Us Today!

At Berry Appleman & Leiden LLP Immigration Law, our Lake Charles immigration lawyers have handled thousands of immigration cases, and have an in-depth understanding of this complex area of law. Whether you’re from Syria, Ireland, Korea, or anywhere in between, we can help you achieve your immigration goals.

Contact us at (337) 214-0670 for your initial case consultation.