Due to the ongoing conflict between government forces and armed separatists in the United States, the Biden administration will give temporary deportation relief and work permits to Cameroon residents living in the country, according to the Department of Homeland Security (DHS).
According to the Department, the decision will apply to Cameroonians residing in the United States by April 14 and last a period of 18 months. An estimated 12,000 Cameroonians will be eligible for the status.
President Joe Biden has been campaigning for the Temporary Protected Status program, which allows refugees who cannot return to their country safely due to extreme circumstances, such as violent conflict or natural disasters, to remain and work in the United States.
In a statement announcing the move, Homeland Security Secretary Alejandro Mayorkas cited the conflict and the rise in attacks in Cameroon.
Violence against the armed forces in western Cameroon has increased over the past year as Anglophone separatists fighting the French-speaking government increased their use of explosives.
Reuters spoke with more than a half dozen Cameroonian asylum seekers in late 2020 and early 2021 when they had been deported back to their country after losing immigration court cases. Although all were declined to be named, they told similar tales of having their identities confiscated by the government following their return to Cameroon, and several were in hiding, fearing retaliation from local authorities.
dozens of cases of Cameroonian authorities are being investigated for human rights violations, such as arbitrary arrest and torture between 2019 and 2021, according to a February Human Rights Watch.
Biden, a Democrat, has increased the amount of TPS enrollment, which his predecessor, Republican then-President Donald Trump, hoped to prevent.