WASHINGTON, D.C. – Today, Representative Adam Smith (D-Wash.) with Representatives Ilhan Omar (D-Minn.), Pramila Jayapal (D-Wash.), and Yvette D. Clarke (D-N.Y.), led colleagues in sending a letter to Secretary Blinken and Secretary Mayorkas urging the administration to extend and redesignate Temporary Protected Status (TPS) for Somalia.

“Somalia is facing a humanitarian crisis exacerbated by protracted armed conflict. The security situation in Somalia remains extremely fraught, as Al-Shabaab continues to threaten the stability and safety of Somalia. Violence is rampant, with the highest number of recorded civilian casualties since 2017 according to the UN. An estimated 40 percent of the population, or 6.1 million people, are left hungry due to the drought and soaring inflation,” the members wrote.

“A designation of TPS for Somalia is in line with U.S. commitments to the nation and its people,” wrote the members. “An estimated 400 beneficiaries are on the verge of losing their work authorization and facing deportation if the administration fails to extend the designation. Deportation would not only threaten the safety of these individuals but would also have devastating consequences for U.S.-citizen children of Somali TPS holders. Parents would have to make the impossible choice of whether to leave their child behind in the U.S. or take them back to dangerous conditions in Somalia,” the members concluded. 

The designation of TPS for Somalia is set to expire on March 17, 2023, with a decision date on January 16, 2023. The members are requesting that the administration provides an 18-month extension and expand the protections to more recently arrived Somali individuals present in the U.S. by redesignating Somalia for TPS.

The letter was signed by: Adam Smith (WA-09), Ilhan Omar (MN-05), Pramila Jayapal (WA-07), Yvette D. Clarke (NY-09), Alma Adams (NC-12), Joyce Beatty (OH-03), Suzanne Bonamici (OR-01), Jamaal Bowman (NY-16), Shontel Brown (OH-11), Cori Bush (MO-01), André Carson (IN-07), Troy Carter (LA-02), Sheila Cherfilus-McCormick (FL-20), Adriano Espaillat (NY-13), Dwight Evans (PA-03), Jesús García (IL-04), Barbara Lee (CA-13), Stephen Lynch (MA-08), Betty McCollum (MN-04), James McGovern (MA-02), Grace Meng (NY-06), Eleanor Norton (D.C.), Mark Pocan (WI-02), Mike Quigley (IL-05), Linda Sánchez (CA-38), Janice Schakowsky (IL-09), Rashida Tlaib (MI-13), David Trone (MD-06), Marc Veasey (TX-33), and Bonnie Watson Coleman (NJ-12).

A full copy of the letter can be found here.