Apr 15, 2022 - Politics & Policy

U.S. grants temporary protected status to Cameroonians for first time

Picture of Alejandro Mayorkas

U.S. Secretary of Homeland Security Alejandro Mayorkas speaks during the 2022 National Action Network's Annual Convention on April 08, 2022 . Photo: Michael M. Santiago/Getty Images

Cameroonians living in the U.S. will be eligible to receive temporary protected status for 18 months, the Department of Homeland Security announced Friday.

Driving the news: DHS said it granted the designation to Cameroonians for the first time because of the "humanitarian crisis" caused by conflict between the country's government forces and armed separatists. The department also cited a "significant rise" in attacks from terrorist group Boko Haram.

  • "Extreme violence and the widespread destruction of civilian infrastructure have led to economic instability, food insecurity, and several hundred thousand displaced Cameroonians without access to schools, hospitals, and other critical services," DHS said.

Details: The TPS designation allows Cameroonians who have resided in the U.S. since April 14 to apply for the status. Applicants will undergo security and background checks.

  • The designation will go into effect once the notice is published in the Federal Register.

By the numbers: The Center for American Progress estimates that up to 40,000 Cameroonians — 32,700 adults and 7,300 children — are eligible for protection.

What they're saying: "The United States recognizes the ongoing armed conflict in Cameroon, and we will provide temporary protection to those in need," Homeland Security Secretary Alejandro Mayorkas said in a statement.

  • "Cameroonian nationals currently residing in the U.S. who cannot safely return due to the extreme violence perpetrated by government forces and armed separatists, and a rise in attacks led by Boko Haram, will be able to remain and work in the United States until conditions in their home country improve."
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