US Lawmakers Urge Protected Status for Mauritanians

US Lawmakers Urge Protected Status for Mauritanians (News Central TV)

Due to “exceptional situations” in their country of origin, American Lawmakers have requested that President Joe Biden’s administration grant Mauritanians living in the United States an 18-month Temporary Protected Status (TPS) or Deferred Enforcement Departure (DED).

In a letter dated January 18 that stated “the persistent human rights crimes, including enslavement and human trafficking happening in Mauritania require a designation of either TPS or DED,” Democratic Senator Sherrod Brown and Republican Representative Mike Carey agreed.

Sherrod Brown

“The designation would send a clear message of condemnation and protect those seeking refuge in the United States,” the Ohio lawmakers said.

“Consider the conditions the Mauritanian people are facing and uphold our country’s commitment to the defense of human rights by immediately designating TPS or DED for Mauritanians living in the United States,” they pleaded with the president of the United States.

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TPS has long been utilised to fill in the holes in the procedures for granting asylum and resettling refugees.

“TPS and DED holders contribute around $2.3 billion in federal taxes and $1.3 billion in state and local taxes as well,” the lawmakers said.

The congressmen described how, in the late 1980s, “Black Mauritanians started to depart their country over a wave of brutal repression and forced expulsions, with a small number travelling into the United States.”

The last nation in the world to criminalise slavery was Mauritania in 2007. However, despite recent attempts to prevent human trafficking, the practice is still pervasive, according to the report.

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“Black Mauritanians also apparently experience considerable discrimination, forced relocation, and exclusion from full citizenship rights,” the MPs noted.

“Currently, there are an estimated 8,000 foreign-born Mauritanians residing in the United States,” they said, with more than 3,000 in Ohio.


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