WASHINGTON—The Leadership Conference on Civil and Human Rights, the Center for Constitutional Rights, and 79 other civil rights groups today urged President Trump and Acting Homeland Security Secretary Wolf to immediately provide the maximum protection possible through a Deferred Enforced Departure (DED) or Temporary Protected Status (TPS) designation for Cameroonians. The move is necessary to ensure that the United States does not return anyone to a country, like Cameroon, that has become temporarily unsafe for its residents.
The groups called on Trump and Wolf to honor the foundational American values of offering safety and security to those in need by granting the designation right away. “Offering help, safety, and security to those in need is foundational to U.S. values. With Cameroon rapidly descending into multiple crises with devastating human consequences, it is imperative that the United States ensure nationals and those who habitually last resided in Cameroon are able to remain here,” they wrote.
The groups said that providing Cameroonians with these specific designations aligns not only with the humanitarian values of the DED and TPS designations, but also American foreign policy interests: “In recent months, the Department of State as well as Congressional officials, have called for the government in Cameroon to comply with human rights norms and laws. If we expect allies in Cameroon to heed our calls for calm and human rights, then we, too, must comply with international norms, including not deporting persons to conflict zones during a global pandemic."
In addition, the Center for Constitutional Rights is representing Cameroonian nationals, currently held under horrific conditions by Immigration and Customs Enforcement, who would benefit from a TPS or DED designation. “The granting of TPS status will provide our clients, and the many thousands of vulnerable Cameroonians, with much needed reassurance in their quest to find safety,” said Aya Saed, a Bertha Justice Fellow at the Center for Constitutional Rights.
The letter and signatories are available here.
The Leadership Conference on Civil and Human Rights is a coalition charged by its diverse membership of more than 220 national organizations to promote and protect the rights of all persons in the United States. The Leadership Conference works toward an America as good as its ideals. For more information on The Leadership Conference and its member organizations, visit www.civilrights.org.
The Center for Constitutional Rights works with communities under threat to fight for justice and liberation through litigation, advocacy, and strategic communications. Since 1966, the Center for Constitutional Rights has taken on oppressive systems of power, including structural racism, gender oppression, economic inequity, and governmental overreach. Learn more at ccrjustice.org.