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We welcome support from clergy members, lay leaders, and faith-based activists of all faiths.

We will be sending the letter to three places: President Biden, Secretary of Homeland Security Mayorkas, and the members of the New York Delegation. We encourage you to call your Representatives to reenforce this message.

Partial text of the letter:

As Faith and Civic Leaders across New York City & State, we are writing to ask you to designate Temporary Protected Status for Guinea, Senegal, and Mauritania. As the three countries where the largest number of West African Asylum seekers originate from—15% out of total NYC census 64,218 individuals as of 3/25/24 according to data from the City—TPS is the single greatest need of asylum seekers and the Houses of Worship that support them.

The asylum seekers in the United States from Guinea, Senegal, and Mauritania have been forced to flee political, social, and economic situations that warrant Temporary Protected Status. In Mauritania, slavery was criminalized in only 2007 and an estimated 340,000 to 680,000 Mauritanians are still enslaved.1 In Guinea, sexual violence, genital mutilation, and forced marriage are exceedingly common and directly connected to a militarized police force.2 In Senegal, the country is on the brink of a military coup3 while a 40-year insurgency in the Casamance region continues to endanger and displace people.4

We are asking you to join us in enacting a more just world and designate temporary protected status for Guinea, Senegal, and Mauritania. We understand the federal government is concerned about so-called ‘pull-factors,’ but in all these cases, what is leading the forced migration is life threatening ‘push-factors.’ The political situation in these countries is forcing people to flee for safety. The wellbeing of all New Yorkers rests on the ability for the newest New Yorkers to achieve their dreams and sustain their families. Designate TPS for Guinea, Senegal, and Mauritania.

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