Trump administration extends protections for Syrians in US
Syrians living in the US were given an extension of temporary protections, an official from President Donald Trump's administration told CNN on Thursday, meaning they will be able to continue to live and work in the country.
Thousands of Syrians feared their Temporary Protected Status - which allowed them to legally work and reside in the country - would not be extended by Trump, after citizens from Sudan, Haiti, Nepal and a number of Central and South American countries in the US had their protections cancelled.
Around 7,000 Syrians had their protected status extended in January 2018 to September 2019, but with a mandatary two-month notice period approaching, many feared the designation would not be extended.
Acting Homeland Security Secretary Kevin McAleenan has not confirmed that the designation would continue, however, CNN reported on Thursday that Secretary of State Mike Pompeo sent a letter recommending an extension.
The State Department stated in April that "No part of Syria is safe from violence."
Syrians have said their deportation would be a "death sentence" due to the dangers from the eight-year war and risk of being detained, tortured and killed by regime forces on their return home.
Syrians who have lived in the US since August 2016 and continuously physically present in the country since 1 October 2016 are eligible for humanitarian protection under American law, CNN reported.
More than half-a-million people have been killed since war broke out in Syria 2011, most of them civilians, when regime forces brutally suppressed protests in the country.