The United States offers protection to people who fled the war in Cameroon

The conflicts have displaced some two million people in the English-speaking regions and led to the deaths of thousands of civilians and ...


The conflicts have displaced some two million people in the English-speaking regions and led to the deaths of thousands of civilians and widespread food insecurity. In December, 4.4 million people in Cameroon needed humanitarian assistance, according to the United Nations. The State Department has documented serious human rights abuses perpetrated by the police and military, including torture and extrajudicial executions.

Fearing for their lives, several thousand Cameroonian citizens from the English-speaking northwest embarked on treacherous journeys, crossing South America, including the lawless jungle called Darien Gap, and Mexico to reach the United States, in order to to seek asylum. Upon arrival, many were locked up in migrant detention centers.

Hundreds were deported to Cameroon. International human rights groups have documented that some of them faced persecution and abuse after returning to their countries.

In announcing the decision, Alejandro N. Mayorkas, the Homeland Security Secretary, cited “extreme violence” perpetrated by government forces and armed separatists, and an increase in attacks by Boko Haram, the terror group. He said Cameroonian nationals would be allowed to stay and work in the United States “until conditions in their home country improve.”

According to the Migration Policy Institute, approximately 900,000 people are now eligible for the Temporary Protected Status program, signed into law in 1990 by President George Bush. Protection is extended to people already in the United States from countries ravaged by natural disasters, armed conflict, or other extraordinary circumstances that prevent their nationals from returning or living there safely.

The US government periodically reviews each country’s status, which is granted for a period of six to 18 months, and decides whether to renew. Each time a country is recertified, recipients must reapply and pass a background check. The Biden administration renewed or restored protections for many countries, after determining that conditions on the ground remained precarious.

The largest group of beneficiaries, more than 200,000, comes from El Salvador. Nationals of Haiti, Sudan, Syria and Venezuela enjoy such protections, among others – although people who entered the country illegally from these countries in subsequent years do not enjoy this protection.

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Newsrust - US Top News: The United States offers protection to people who fled the war in Cameroon
The United States offers protection to people who fled the war in Cameroon
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