The US Department of Homeland Security (DHS) recently announced the designation of Cameroon and the re-designation of Sudan for Temporary Protected Status (TPS). TPS, which was established in the Immigration Act of 1990, provides a temporary stay of deportation and work authorization to nationals of designated countries who are unable to return to their countries safely due to armed conflict, natural disaster, or other extraordinary temporary conditions.
DHS granted TPS for Cameroon for 18 months on the basis of both armed conflict and extraordinary and temporary conditions in Cameroon that prevent Cameroonian nationals from returning safely. Cameroonian nationals who have been already residing in the United States as of April 14, 2022, are eligible to apply for TPS. The Center for Migration Studies of New York (CMS) estimates indicate that there are at least 15,700 Cameroonian nationals in the United States who are eligible for TPS (Table 1).The top three states in which the US Cameroonian population live are Maryland (6,000), Texas (2,600), and Massachusetts (1,100), accounting for about 62 percent of the total population. More than half of the US Cameroonian population entered the United States after 2014 (Table 2). In 2014, Cameroon began fighting the terrorist group, Boko Haram, along its border with Nigeria. Major protests in 2016-2017 gave way to an ongoing civil war that has destabilized the country and resulted in violence against civilians.
Designation of Sudan for TPS is based on the extraordinary and temporary conditions in Sudan and will last for 18 months. Sudanese nationals who have continuously resided in the United States since March 1, 2022, and who have been continuously physically present in the United States since April 19, 2022 are eligible to apply for TPS. According to CMS estimates, there are 6,800 Sudanese nationals in the United States that would be eligible from the re-designation of Sudan for TPS. More than half of the US Sudanese population resides in three states: Nebraska (1,900), Texas (1,200), and Minnesota (1,100) (Table 3). The estimated number of Sudanese nationals living in the United States by year of arrival shows that 53 percent of the population arrived in the period between 2014 to 2016, and 47 percent of the population arrived between 2016 to 2019 (Table 4).  Immigrant advocacy groups, including Cameroon Advocacy Network, Interfaith Immigration Coalition, The Black Alliance for Just Immigration (BAJI), The Catholic Legal Immigration Network (CLINIC), and The New York Immigration Coalition (NYIC), have been calling on the administration to provide temporary protection for Cameroon and Sudan. These recent designations show the power of advocacy before the administration. The implementation of these programs will provide community-based organizations, legal service providers, and advocacy groups an opportunity to build capacity and to demonstrate their readiness to implement future immigration and refugee protection programs, including a legalization program.
While the recent designation of Cameroon and re-designation of Sudan for TPS is a much-needed aid for these populations, there are many additional foreign-born populations who could also benefit from such population-specific programs. In fact, CMS estimates show that 618,000 US residents from Burma, El Salvador, Haiti, Honduras, Nepal, Nicaragua, Somalia, Syria, Venezuela, and Yemen would be potentially eligible for protection if these counties were designated or redesignated for TPS. The Biden administration should designate/re-designate these additional countries in crisis for TPS.
April 29, 2022
 CMS estimates are based on the 2019 American Community Survey Microdata (ACS). Therefore, the estimated numbers presented herein potentially represent an undercount of the total Cameroonian population currently living in the country who are eligible for TPS.
 CMS estimates are based on the 2019 American Community Survey Microdata (ACS). Therefore, the estimated numbers presented herein potentially represent an undercount of the total Sudanese population currently living in the country who are eligible for TPS.
 Sudan’s previous re-designation was in 2013, when DHS both extended Sudan’s designation and re-designated Sudan for TPS for eighteen months. https://www.federalregister.gov/documents/2022/04/19/2022-08363/designation-of-sudan-for-temporary-protected-status
 Kerwin, Donald, José Pacas, and Robert Warren. 2021. Ready to Stay: A Comprehensive Analysis of the US Foreign-Born Populations Eligible for Special Legal Status Programs and for Legalization under Pending Bills. Center for Migration Studies of New York (CMS) Report. https://cmsny.org/publications/ready-to-stay-report/