WASHINGTON, D.C.Congresswoman Madeleine Dean (PA-04) and Congressman Donald Beyer (VA-08) led a letter to urge the Biden Administration to extend Temporary Protected Status (TPS) to Ethiopians. The letter was signed by 44 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.

Since last year, a large-scale conflict has raged in Amhara, Ethiopia’s second largest region, leading the Ethiopian government to declare a state of emergency on August 4, 2023, and renew it on February 2, 2024. According to the International Organization for Migration, more than 3.45 million Ethiopians are internally displaced. And droughts have devastated communities—the UN expects the number of critically food insecure people to rise over the next few months, reaching 10.8 million by this summer.  

“The conditions in Ethiopia remain dire; ongoing conflicts continue to pose serious threats to personal safety and drought continues to disrupt living conditions and exacerbate food insecurity and hunger,” the lawmakers wrote. “We call upon the administration to do its part to continue to protect Ethiopians in the United States from deportation by extending and redesignating Ethiopia for TPS.”

Protections for Ethiopian TPS holders are set to expire on June 12, 2024. The lawmakers urged President Biden, Secretary of State Antony Blinken, and DHS Secretary Alejandro Mayorkas to issue an immediate 18-month extension and redesignation.

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.