sigh of relief
The Biden administration on Friday announced it would be offering up Temporary Protected Status, or TPS, to Cameroonian immigrants in the U.S.
The designation will allow immigrants to work and live legally in the U.S. for 18 months without fear of deportation, CBS News reports. It does not, however, make them eligible for permanent residency or citizenship.
In making its decision, the Department of Homeland Security cited the "years-old conflict between the Cameroonian government and armed separatist groups in the country's Anglophone regions in the west," as well as a surge in attacks by Islamist terrorist group Boko Haram.
All in all, the violent conditions have dealt a great blow to the African country's infrastructure, economy, and food supply, leading to the displacement of "hundreds of thousands of Cameroonians."
About 40,000 Cameroonian immigrants are expected to qualify for TPS, The New York Times reports. The status will not apply to Cameroonians who arrive in the U.S. after Friday's announcement.
The administration's decision is ultimately a huge victory for advocacy groups who'd long been urging President Biden "to offer protections to citizens of a predominantly Black African country," CBS News writes. That pressure really ratcheted up when the administration almost immediately granted TPS to refugees out of Ukraine, highlighting the disparity between the federal government's treatment of Europeans versus citizens of countries with majority Black or Hispanic populations, the Times adds.
"This has been a long-fought battle," said Guerline Jozef, executive director of the Haitian Bridge Alliance, per CBS News. "When it comes to TPS for Cameroon and Haiti, it was not just a gift. That was something we literally had to fight for, for a very long time."