Somalis in U.S. will keep protected status, will not face removal

Not every country is safe to live in. Natural disasters, such as earthquakes or man-made disasters, such as war, can threaten the lives of those living in these countries. Therefore, many people from countries, such as these, may choose to seek a safe haven in Kentucky and other states in our nation. One way some immigrants were able to lawfully reside in the U.S. was through a government program that was meant to help those seeking refuge from unsafe countries.

The Trump administration has stated that roughly 500 people from Somalia who are currently living in the United States are permitted to keep their protected status granted to Somalis in 1991 through a government program. Under this program, Somalis may lawfully remain in the nation and work until March 17, 2020.

Continued armed conflict in Somalia has made it unsafe for Somalis to return to their nation. However, new Somalis trying to enter the country will not be granted this protected status. This is in contrast to people from other countries that the Trump Administration has of this stripped this protected status and are facing deportation and removal.

The program was created in 1990. It gave people from countries experiencing natural or man-made disasters a special immigration status that permitted them to live and work in the U.S. Approximately 437,000 individuals from 10 different nations were granted this special status. But, this status was not intended to be permanent.

This is good news for Somalis in the U.S., who fear for their lives should they be forced to move back to Somalia. Fleeing war-torn nations is recognized as one reason why a person might choose to immigrate to the United States. They may be seeking safety in the U.S. and the chance to build a future for themselves and their families. There are various visas and programs immigrants may seek that will allow them to live and work in the country. It is important that immigrants understand all their options for lawfully residing in the U.S., so they can seek the one that best meets their needs.