WASHINGTON, D.C. – Congresswoman Madeleine Dean (PA-04) and Congressman Anthony G. Brown (MD-04) led a letter to urge the Biden Administration to extend Temporary Protected Status (TPS) to Ethiopians fleeing the ongoing civil war. The letter was signed by 41 other Members of Congress.

TPS authority stems from the same deeply held principles that underpin the U.S. refugee and asylum systems—that the United States will not return people to situations where their lives or freedom will be threatened. A country is typically designated for TPS when conditions in the country fall into one or more of the three statutory bases for designation: ongoing armed conflict, environmental disasters, or extraordinary and temporary conditions.

For over a year, international non-governmental organizations in Ethiopia have documented severe famine conditions, sexual violence as a weapon of war, crumbling infrastructure, and more. On March 7, 2022, the U.N. High Commissioner for Human Rights reported even more rapidly deteriorating conditions since late 2021, including widespread “rapes and lethal air strikes.” In March 2022, the U.S. State Department re-upped its highest-level do not travel advisory due to “armed conflict, civil unrest, communications disruptions, crime, and the potential for terrorism and kidnapping in border areas.

“While we commend the administration’s swift work to safeguard Ukrainians and Afghans in the United States from war and humanitarian disaster, we are deeply concerned that TPS has not yet been designated for Ethiopia given the ongoing civil war,” the Members wrote. “The conditions in Ethiopia are urgent and egregious and we call upon the administration to do its part to protect Ethiopians in the United States from deportation by designating Ethiopia for TPS.”

Read the full letter here.

Rep. Madeleine Dean is a mother, grandmother, attorney, professor, former four-term member of the Pennsylvania House of Representatives, and U.S. Representative for the Fourth District of Pennsylvania.