Tlaib Leads 80 Members of Congress in Urging Temporary Protections for Lebanese Nationals in Light of Beirut Blast

Aug 20, 2020

WASHINGTON D.C.—This week, Congresswoman Rashida Tlaib (MI-13) led a letter, along with House Judiciary Committee Chairman Jerrold Nadler (NY-10)House Judiciary Committee Subcommittee on Immigration and Citizenship Chairwoman Zoe Lofgren (CA-16)Congresswoman Debbie Dingell (MI-12), and Congresswoman Marcy Kaptur (OH-09), urging President Trump and Acting Secretary of Homeland Security Chad Wolf to immediately designate Lebanon for Temporary Protected Status (TPS) or Deferred Enforced Departure (DED) to provide a safe haven to Lebanese nationals in the United States in the wake of the Beirut disaster. The letter also urges the Administration to welcome to our country individuals and families permanently displaced by this disaster through any and all means at its disposal, including humanitarian parole.

The letter, which has been endorsed by the Arab American Institute (AAI), American-Arab Anti-Discrimination Committee (ADC), ACCESS, the Arab American Heritage Council, Michigan Immigrant Rights Center (MIRC) and Michigan United, was signed by more than 80 Members of Congress. In it, the members acknowledge the extremely difficult circumstances facing the people of Lebanon, who were already contending with a worsening COVID-19 pandemic and increasingly dire economic collapse prior to the devastating blast on August 4.

The lawmakers noted, “As news reports of the impact of the Beirut explosion continue to unfold, it is clear that Lebanon is not in a position to safely accept the return of its citizens at this time. Given the sheer scale of the crisis, it is imperative that the Administration take immediate steps to exercise its discretion—as a matter of national interest—to allow Lebanese nationals to remain in the United States at this time, by designating Lebanon for TPS or DED.”

“Additionally, given the extent of the destruction in Beirut, the imminent homelessness of hundreds of thousands of people, and the impending humanitarian crisis in Lebanon, we urge you to welcome to our country individuals and families permanently displaced by this disaster through any and all means at your disposal, including humanitarian parole…To turn away families in desperate need of refuge goes against everything we as Americans stand for,” the members added.

The letter is the latest push in Congress to provide relief to the people of Lebanon in the wake of the Beirut disaster, which killed hundreds, wounded thousands, left several hundred thousand homeless, and destroyed much of the Lebanese capital.

The full text of the letter, which was signed by 81 members of Congress, is available here.

Recent Posts

May 15, 2024

Tlaib Introduces Resolution Recognizing 76 Years of the Nakba

WASHINGTON, D.C. – Today, Congresswoman Rashida Tlaib (MI-12) introduced a House Resolution Recognizing the Nakba and Palestinian Refugees’ Rights. The Nakba, which means “catastrophe” in Arabic, refers to the mass expulsion of Palestinians from their homes and homeland during creation of the state of Israel (1947-49). The Nakba did not end in 1948, but continues […]

May 9, 2024

Tlaib, Sanders, Khanna, Merkley Introduce Legislation to Eliminate Medical Debt for Millions of Working Class Americans

WASHINGTON, D.C. — Reps. Rashida Tlaib (MI-12) and Ro Khanna (CA-17) with Sens. Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.) and Jeff Merkley (D-Ore.) introduced the Medical Debt Cancellation Act, legislation to eliminate all $220 billion in medical debt held by millions of Americans, wipe it from credit reports, and drastically limit the accrual of future medical debt.  The medical debt crisis has […]

May 8, 2024

Tlaib Announces Appropriations Requests for Fiscal Year 2025

WASHINGTON, D.C. — Today, Congresswoman Rashida Tlaib (MI-12) announced her priorities in the federal appropriations process for Fiscal Year 2025. One of the key ways to bring investments home to our district is through appropriations requests. Congresswoman Tlaib led several letters prioritizing the need for lead abatement, access to clean water, housing and health care […]