Skip to main content

A Message to Syrians in the U.S.: YOU HAVE OPTIONS

How do you know if you qualify for TPS and Asylum? Read more to find out!

Three years ago the Arab Spring brought about winds of change, shifting the sands beneath an already unstable Middle East. Inspired by its neighbors in Egypt and Tunisia, peaceful protests in Syria surfaced against a totalitarian, socialist regime and were responded to not with peaceful dialogue but with deadly violence.  Needless to say the civil war in Syria has killed more than 130,000 people and displaced 2 million refugees, half of them children. 

The situation in Syria is dire. The stories are sad. The images horrific.  Following the news from Syria can be disheartening, but helplessness breeds powerlessness.  If you are Syrian, or if you know one, empower yourself with the knowledge that Syrians have options. As depressing as it is to watch news coming out of Syria, when my first Syrian client found out her asylum application was approved, we both breathed a little easier.  

Over the past two and a half years I have consulted with countless Syrians interested in learning more about what they can do to remain in the United States.  The two main options Syrians consider today are Temporary Protected Status (TPS) and Asylum:

TPS: 

TPS is designed as special relief to Syrians “due to conditions in the country that temporarily prevent the country’s nationals from returning safely.”  A Syrian national is eligible to apply for TPS if they can show that they entered the United States before designation date of June 17, 2013 and have maintained continuance presence in the U.S. since.  The eligibility requirements are simple and more information is available here.  A grant of TPS permits a Syrian national to live and work in the safety of the United States, but it is not a long-term solution.  In other words, when the TPS status expires, unless he or she has another way to stay in the U.S. the Syrian national must return to Syria.  If you believe you qualify for Syrian TPS but have never applied, it may be possible to late-register. As always it is advisable to consult with an attorney who is familiar with TPS.

ASYLUM:

Syrians in the United States afraid to go back to Syria may also be eligible to apply for asylum. A grant of asylum offers the Syrian national the option of remaining lawfully in the United States as an asylee.  One year after a grant of a grant of asylum the asylee can them apply for lawful permanent resident status (aka a green card) and ultimately for U.S. citizenship.  Generally, an individual in the United States is eligible to apply for asylum if they meet the following definition of a refugee:

A person outside of his/her country of nationality or outside his/her habitual residence, who is unwilling or unable to return to that country because of persecution or a well-founded fear of persecution based on race, religion, nationality, membership in a particular social group or political opinion. In addition, he or she must be able to establish that he or she is not already firmly resettled in a foreign country and must fall within certain refugee processing priorities.

If you are from Syria and you are afraid to go back from Syria, you have options. Whether it's TPS, Asylum, or perhaps another form of relief available to you, your best choice it to consult with an experienced attorney and educate yourself.  I have helped dozens of Syrians in Syria and all across the United States in their quest for security and stability for themselves and their families. I would be happy to talk with you to explore what options are available to you and your loved ones. Perhaps it is not possible to bring peace to all of Syria, but thanks to our immigration laws, we can bring peace to Syrians in America one family at a time.  

 Photo of a Syrian family fleeing to Lebanon from United Nations Multimedia


Learn more about the situation in Syria by clicking here

Learn more about how to contact me by clicking here. I speak Arabic and have experience with TPS and Asylum for Syrians. I look forward to talking with you.

Comments

Popular posts from this blog

If You Are An Immigrant (even a US Citizen), Here Are 9 Things You Should Know

Are you a Naturalized U.S. Citizen, Lawful Permanent Resident, Visa Holder, or an Undocumented Immigrant? We recommend you take the following steps to protect yourself in our current version of America.
The last couple of weeks have reminded immigrants, even naturalized U.S. citizens, that they were not born in the United States. Our office has received countless phone calls, emails, and social media messages from people worrying about what their family’s future in the United States holds.
Most people want to know what they can do now to protect themselves from what promises to be a wave of anti-immigration activity by the federal government. Trump's Executive Order on Interior Enforcement has some provisions that should make most Americans shiver.  We recommend the following actions for each of the following groups:
Naturalized U.S. citizens. In particular if you have a foreign accent, and you are traveling within 100 miles of any US Border (including the oceans), we strongly rec…

Why is USCIS Taking So Long to Renew DACA Work Permits?

If the calls to our office are any indicator, there are thousands of DACA recipients whose work permit applications were filed at least three months prior to expiration, who are still waiting for their renewed work permits.  Without renewed permits, these individuals lose the right to work legally, the right to drive, and may once again accrue unlawful presence.

The DHS published a notice in October 2014 advising DACA recipients that they could file their request for extension up to 150 days (5 months) prior to expiration.  As with all things government, very few of the DACA recipients, who tend not to frequent government websites, knew about the memo and many did not file so far before expiration perhaps thinking that extending a work permit was a like extending a drivers license, its is done in a few minutes.  As an experienced immigration lawyer will tell you, the USCIS does nothing quickly, and certainly does not worry that a person may lose their job or their driver's licens…

LOS DERECHOS DE LOS EXTRANJEROS EN LOS ESTADOS UNIDOS

Todas las personas en los Estados Unidos, incluidos los extranjeros y aun los con ordenes de deportacion, tienen ciertos derechos básicos que deben ser respetados por los agentes de Inmigración y Aduanas (ICE). Estos derechos se derivan tanto de la Constitución de los Estados Unidos. y las leyes de Estados Unidos. Como extranjero, usted tiene los siguientes derechos:

SU DERECHO A DENEGAR LA ENTRADA A SU CASA
Usted tiene el derecho de negar la entrada a un agente de ICE a su casa sin una orden válida. Esta orden debe ser firmado por un juez. Usted puede negarse a abrir la puerta, o se puede cerrar la puerta después de descubrir que el agente no tiene una orden válida. Los agentes del ICE generalmente no vienen con una orden judicial. Estos agentes suelen venir a la casa de alguien con una orden final de deportación, muy temprano en la mañana. Si alguien está golpeando en su puerta a las 6:00 am, no le es requerido abrir la puerta. Mirar fuera de primera. Si es un agente del gobierno, ust…