Leigh Munsil

Posted by Leigh Munsil on December 20, 2011 in News Clips

An Arab-American group is asking the Obama Administration for temporary protected status for Syrian citizens currently in the United States.

"As the Syrian uprising nears its 10th month, the situation on the ground has grown increasingly dangerous for average Syrian citizens," says the letter, sent to the White House Monday by Arab American Institute’s president James J. Zogby. "Violent clashes between Syrian armed forces and resistance elements have broken out in all quarters of the country, and armed death squads roam the streets, empowered to arbitrarily arrest – and in many cases torture – Syrians who may or may not be critical of the regime."

Some Syrians and Syrian-Americans who have been critical of the regime have seen their families attacked, and the Syrian ambassadors to the U.S. and U.N. have been investigated for spying on Syrian-Americans.

The Secretary of Homeland Security may provide temporary asylum to people in America who can’t safely return to their home countries, particularly students, tourists and other temporary U.S. visitors, according to the letter.

"Extending TPS benefits to Syrian citizens will demonstrate that the United States cares about the lives and well-being of the Syrian people," Zogby wrote, "matching our rhetoric on Syria with concrete humanitarian action."

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