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DHS Extends Temporary Protection to Syrian Nationals in the United States

Those eligible for the extension may remain in the United States for an additional 18 months - regardless of their legal status.

Department of Homeland Security Secretary Jeh Johnson testifies before the House Homeland Security Full Committee, during a hearing on Capitol Hill in Washington, Wednesday, Sept. 17, 2014. (AP Photo/Manuel Balce Ceneta)

The Department of Homeland Security announced Monday that they have redesignated Syria for "temporary protected status."

Department of Homeland Security Secretary Jeh Johnson testifies before the House Homeland Security Full Committee, during a hearing on Capitol Hill in Washington, Wednesday, Sept. 17, 2014. (AP Photo/Manuel Balce Ceneta) Department of Homeland Security Secretary Jeh Johnson (AP Photo/Manuel Balce Ceneta)

The move grants “a new temporary amnesty” to more than 8,000 eligible Syrian nationals currently living in the United States, according to the Washington Times. Those eligible for the extension may remain in the United States for an additional 18 months — regardless of their legal status.

The agency said Secretary of Homeland Security Jeh Johnson extended Syria’s Temporary Protected Status through March 31, 2018.

According to the Federal Register, Johnson determined that an extension of Syria’s status was “warranted” due to the "ongoing armed conflict and other extraordinary and temporary conditions” that prompted the initial designation “have not only persisted, but have deteriorated.”

The Federal Register notes that Johnson believes situation in Syria “would pose a serious threat to the personal safety of Syrian nationals if they were required to return to their country.”

The Washington Examiner noted that in addition to Syria, 12 other countries are designated as eligible for "temporary protected status": El Salvador, Guinea, Haiti, Honduras, Liberia, Nepal, Nicaragua, Sierra Leone, Somalia, Sudan, South Sudan and Yemen.

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