Washington, D.C.—Church World Service today welcomed news from the Biden administration designating Temporary Protected Status for Cameroonians already in the United States. The announcement, which comes after years of widespread calls for action as Cameroon faces multiple humanitarian crises and ongoing armed conflict, will protect Cameroonians in the United States from being forcibly returned to danger. CWS notes that as of September 2021, over one million people were internally displaced in Cameroon, with an additional 4.4 million people in need of humanitarian assistance in the country.
The organization further calls on the Biden administration to extend the same life-saving protection to others at risk of deportation to dangerous situations, including those from El Salvador, Ethiopia, Guatemala, Guinea, Honduras, Hong Kong, Lebanon, Mauritania, Nepal, Nicaragua, and Sierra Leone.
“Temporary Protected Status will provide Cameroonians with the lifeline they so desperately need. Those impacted by this decision are our neighbors, our coworkers, and our friends. A TPS designation for Cameroon would not have happened but for the tireless work of Black-led immigrants’ rights organizations. For too long they have waited in fear, worrying that tomorrow could bring a return to danger, violence, and crisis; they certainly will be sleeping easier tonight,” said Meredith Owen, Director of Policy and Advocacy at CWS. “While we welcome this much-needed step toward a more equitable immigration system, many more in our communities need this same life-saving protection extended to them. We all have neighbors—whether from the Northern Triangle, sub-Saharan Africa, the Middle East, or beyond—that wake each morning fearing that this could be the day their families are returned to peril. No one should have to live this way, the administration needs to act in their interests, too.”
CWS has long-called for the designation of Temporary Protected Status for Cameroon. The organization also has stressed that ending inhumane detention and deportation of Cameroonians, redressing harm and establishing a humanitarian parole program for those already tragically deported, providing holistic legal, case management services, and building international solidarity centering issues faced by Black migrants are vital steps to restore the United States as global leader in welcome.
For more information, or to speak with Owen, contact email@example.com.