Homeland Security Secretary Kirstjen Nielsen announced an 18-month extension for the Temporary Protected Status program for Syrians, which affects 7,000 people in the U.S.
"After carefully considering conditions on the ground, I have determined that it is necessary to extend the Temporary Protected Status designation for Syria,” Nielsen said in a statement Wednesday evening. "It is clear that the conditions upon which Syria’s designation was based continue to exist, therefore an extension is warranted under the statute. We will continue to determine each country’s TPS status on a country-by-country basis."
The new deadline for the program is Sept. 30, 2019, though that could be extended again depending on conditions in the Middle Eastern country next year.
Nielsen said her office, along with other government agencies, concluded the country was unsafe for beneficiaries to return to in light of continuing armed conflict and "extraordinary and temporary conditions."