What Does the Temporary Residency for Syrian Refugees Mean?

In the US, thousands of Syrian refugees are granted temporary residency extensions. The US Department of Homeland Security made the decision because letting the immigrants return will be too risky given the ongoing turmoil in Syria. The reprieve from deportation was supposed to be terminated on March 31, but it will now end in September 2022.

What Does This Mean?

How do Syrian refugees get into the US? Suppose a foreign citizen lacks any other kind of legal residency and comes from a nation where returning will jeopardize their lives. In that case, temporary status allows them to stay in the US., and because of the country’s ongoing war, Syria satisfies these criteria. 

The number of refugees escaping violence or persecution in their native countries to pursue safety in other countries has skyrocketed over the last years. More refugees are in the US than in all other countries combined in the past years. 

Furthermore, before refugees can be admitted into the country, the government has imposed new security vetting procedures. Unfortunately, this has greatly increased waiting times and left many refugees in dangerous situations for long periods.

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Who Is Considered a Refugee?

The US law defines this as someone unable or unwilling to go back to their country of origin because of a “well-founded fear of persecution” based on affiliation, national origin, political beliefs, race, or religion. 

Only a small part of the entire population of forcefully displaced people is included in the international definition of a “refugee.” For other causes such as resource scarcity and harsh weather occurrences, people who leave their homes are not considered refugees and may not qualify for asylum. 

In 2020, there were 26.3 million refugees worldwide, up from 15.2 million in 2010, according to the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR). About half of the refugee population is made up of children under eighteen. 


Here are the countries with the most refugees:

  • Syria (6.6 million)
  • Afghanistan (2.7 million)
  • South Sudan (2.2 million)
  • Myanmar (1.1 million)
  • Somalia (1.1 million) 


How Does the US Determine the Number of Refugee Admission?

Each year, the President, in collaboration with Congress, establishes a numerical limit for refugee admissions. Two main departments analyze the feasibility of different refugee groups for admittance. These are the State Department and the Department of Homeland Security (DHS). 

A new all-time low of eighteen thousand was set for FY 2020, down from the previous all-time low of thirty thousand set in FY 2019. Because the refugee resettlement program was temporarily paused during the COVID-19 epidemic, this low maximum was not achieved in FY 2020.


Will These Conditions Affect Latin Americans?

After emphasizing the country’s economic woes, Biden also promised to provide refuge to Venezuelan immigrants. His predecessor, Donald Trump, had already done so through a similar program before leaving office.

Right now, an option of designating Guatemala and Honduras for the program, which might wind up sheltering over a million people, is also being explored by the Biden administration.



Sadly, the global refugee crisis has worsened over the past couple of years. In addition to humane policies that governments need to set forth worldwide, social changes must be made. It includes addressing the root causes of conflict to benefit the ones most affected by this problem and the future children of the planet. 


If you want to know how to help Syrian refugees, get in touch with UOSSM. We are a nonprofit, 501(c)(3) charitable, independent, non-government, medical humanitarian organization incorporated in Texas. Donate today and make a difference.

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