South Sudanese staying in the US can stay with temporary legal status to escape the conflict and natural disasters in their homelands, the Department of Homeland Security [DHS] announced Wednesday.

DHS Secretary Alejandro Mayorkas cited political instability, unrest, and armed conflict as he approved a new designation for what’s known as a temporary protected status to South Sudanese.

There are 12 countries whose nationals receive temporary protected status, a program that former President Donald Trump sought to curtail amid criticism of frequent extensions that have enabled people to live in the U.S. for years in a kind of legal limbo.

Members of Congress have recently called on the Biden administration to grant the status to people from Ukraine following Russia’s invasion of their country.

South Sudan has been designated for TPS since 2011, and it has been extended in 18-month increments ever since.

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