Ethiopia is a landlocked nation situated in Africa’s Horn. Its neighbors are Somalia, Kenya, Sudan, Eritrea, and Djibouti. The nation’s capital, Addis Abeba, which means “New Flower,” is practically in the middle of the country.
Due to the ongoing deadly conflict, the once stable and promising country is now in a dire situation, and like in all armed conflicts, civilians are paying a heavy price for it. Thousands have lost their lives, fled the country, or have become internally displaced.
According to a recent announcement by the Department of Homeland Security (DHS), Ethiopia has been granted Temporary Protected Status (TPS) for 18 months.
The three statutory bases for TPS designation are ongoing armed conflict, environmental disaster, or extraordinary and temporary conditions. This designation is based on a current armed conflict and exceptional and brief conditions in Ethiopia that make it impossible for people of Ethiopian descent and those without nationality who had previously habitually stayed there to return home in a secure manner. Civilians are in danger of conflict-related violence due to the armed conflict, including assaults, executions, rape, and other gender-based forms of violence; ethnicity-based detentions; and human rights abuses and violations.
Ethiopia joins a list of other countries currently under TPS status including Syria, Yemen, and South Sudan. This relief is important for those who may not have any other means of obtaining lawful status in the United States and provides protection from deportation as well as work authorization. Ethiopia’s TPS status will be reviewed on a regular basis and may be extended or terminated based on conditions in the country.
Alejandro N. Mayorkas, Secretary of Homeland Security, said, “The United States recognizes the ongoing armed conflict and the extraordinary and temporary conditions engulfing Ethiopia, and DHS is committed to providing temporary protection to those in need. The U.S. government will allow Ethiopian nationals who cannot safely return home because of conflict-related violence and a humanitarian crisis involving severe food shortages, flooding, drought, and displacement to remain and work until conditions improve in their home country”.
It will be the country’s first TPS designation. The people who qualify for TPS under this designation must have lived in the U.S. continuously since October 20, 2022. After October 20, 2022, anyone who tries to enter the country won’t qualify for TPS under this category. The 18-month designation for Ethiopia will take effect on the day the next Federal Register notice is published, December 12, 2022.