Hey Sis! (and the Brothers who love us!)
Check this out: Earlier this month, President Joe Biden extended temporary protected status (TPS) for immigrants in the United States from certain countries by 18 months. This means people who left their home countries because of devastating conditions such as war or natural disasters can get temporary authorization to live and work legally in the U.S. without fear of deportation.
What grabbed our attention about this were two nations in particular on the list of those eligible for this extension: Cameroon, where fighting between separatist groups and government forces in Anglophone, or English-speaking, areas has left thousands of people dead and others vulnerable to escalating violence and human rights violations; and Honduras, which remains raked by hunger and lack of basic services due to two hurricanes, plus the COVID-19 pandemic, over the past three years.
According to the Department of Homeland Security (DHS), there are currently an estimated 2,000 TPS beneficiaries from Cameroon and about 44,000 from Honduras. Tens of thousands more who arrived in the U.S. after the previous cutoff dates could potentially be eligible. Existing TPS beneficiaries from these two countries will need to re-register during the 60-day period from Oct. 10 through Dec. 11, while new applicants must register Oct. 10 through June 7, 2025.
Given those deadlines — and the fact that TPS was established or extended for several other countries too — we wanted to get a better understanding of how TPS works. So we reached out to some sister friends at Casa, a national group that advocates for Black, Latino, Indigenous and immigrant communities. They came through with deep expertise and illuminating analysis of what this means for those from Cameroon and Honduras, and how ordinary citizens can be supportive. They also shared touching stories of their own experiences as immigrants, with commentary in French and Spanish for those who need it.
Joining us for this conversation:
- Ama Frimpong-Houser, legal director for CASA.
- Marie Ngoueko, a CASA organizer from Cameroon.
- Yandely Hill, CASA member from Honduras.
- Dr. Ines Toto Furume, CASA communications specialist from the Democratic Republic of Congo and French translator for Marie Ngoueko.
- Nkeshi Free, CASA deputy communications director.
- Jossie Flor Sapunar, CASA national communications director and Spanish translator for Yandely Hill.
Please take a moment and listen to what these sisters had to say. If you know someone from any of the eligible countries who may be interested in pursuing TPS, point them to the FAQs on CASA’s website.
That’s all for now. Hope to see you in this space again real soon, as we take the sisters off mute one story at a time!