Nearly half a million Palestinians are currently able to take advantage of the temporary amnesty the Department of Homeland Security has extended to Syrian refugees.
Two weeks ago, DHS secretary Jeh Johnson announced that Temporary Protected Status (TPS) for Syrians has been extended until March 31, 2018. TPS allows for individuals present in the U.S legally or illegally to be free of risk from deportation, receive welfare, work permits, drivers licenses and social security.
TPS is extended not just to Syrian nationals but also to “persons without nationality who last habitually resided in Syria.” According to United Nations estimates, 430,000 Palestinians, who are considered stateless, currently reside in Syria as of June 2016. From August 1, 2016 to January 30, 2017, these nearly half a million Palestinians can come to the United States illegally and then register for Temporary Protected Status.
Individuals who have received Temporary Protected Status are not eligible to receive lawful permanent resident status or a “green card.” However, TPS can be continually renewed and the Migration Policy Institute has written that “some Somali TPS holders have been in the United States for more than 20 years, as Somalia’s TPS designation has been continuously renewed since 1991.”
According to the Center for Immigration Studies, there are currently 430,000 beneficiaries of TPS in the U.S.