WASHINGTON, DC, 17 February 2021 – The U.S. Congress called Wednesday on President Joe Biden to grant Temporary Protective Status (TPS) or Deferred Enforced Departure (DED) to Southern Camerooians aka Ambazonians and Cameroonians.
The request urges the Biden administration to break with the shameful deportations under former president, Donald Trump, by issuing “an immediate 18-month designation” of TPS or DED to nationals of the The Cameroons.
Signed by eleven members of the U.S. Senate and 29 members of the U.S. House of Representatives, the request says TPS or DED is fully justified by “the worsening conditions” in The Cameroons.
The Two Cameroons are a loose confederation that the United Nations sanctioned in 1961, comprising “two states, equal in status”.
On the one hand, French-speaking Cameroon, officially known as “La Republique du Cameroun” (independent on 1st January 1960) and English-speaking Southern Cameroons (independent on 1st October 1961) and renamed Ambazonia following its unilateral declaration of independence restored on 1st October 2017.
The request for TPS or DED describes The Cameroons as a place where citizens face “a humanitarian crisis and civil war characterized by massive internal displacement, war crimes, and shortages of essentials like water, food, healthcare and housing”.
The letter slams the administration of ex-president, Donald Trump, for failing to recognize that these conditions made “safe return impossible” for citizens from Southern Cameroons and Cameroon.
Instead, the letter says, the Trump administration opted to “shamefully” mistreat and deport “asylum seekers back to danger” in The Cameroons.
Granting TPS will protect Ambazonians and Cameroonians “from deportation” and provide them “permission to work in the United States for the duration of the designation”, which is 18 months in the request submitted Wednesday to the White House.
In other words, Ambazonians and Cameroonians currently in the United States – illegally or legally – will automatically and legally extend their stay for the 18 months period.
The United States uses DED “to protect foreign nationals” present in the country “from civil, political, and humanitarian crises in their home country that make it unsafe for them to return”.
Washington also uses DED in the event that “suspension of deportation serves other United States foreign policy or domestic interests”.
DED effectively provides similar protections as TPS, with the former having the advantage of using “minimal resources administratively” and having “an immediate effect for those who qualify,” the request sponsored by Maryland’s Senator Chris Van Hollen reads in part.
The U.S. Congressional request to the Biden administration points to reports by the U.S. State Department and by the New York-based rights group, Human Rights Watch.
It laments the fact that 3.9 million Southern Cameroonians and Cameroonians “are in need of humanitarian assistance, with over 720,000 people displaced”.
Eighty-five percent of the half a million people internally displaced across The Cameroons, according to the request, are fleeing armed conflict and, in the case of Southern Cameroons, fleeing genocidal violence.
“Civilians in Cameroon are caught between multiple and complex armed conflicts,” the request reads in part.
The request says TPS or DED is also justified by the conditions depicted by the State Department Human Rights Report on The Cameroons.
The State Department report outlines “extensive and troubling catalogue of human rights abuses against Cameroonian [and Southern Cameroonian] civilians”.
The gross violations of human rights, according to the request, include “extrajudicial killings, torture, arbitrary detention, and targeted violence against vulnerable populations”.
Recognizing the worsening insecurity in The Cameroons, the State Department has issued a “Do Not Travel” warning for most of The Cameroons, citing “violent crime, including kidnapping by terrorists and/or kidnapping for ransom, armed robbery, assault, and carjacking”.
The request also flags public health dangers, including a “very high level” of COVID-19 with over 73,000 reported cases and 1,197 fatalities as of December 15, 2020,” according to data from the World Health Organization.
The regime of Paul Biya has systematically downplayed the pandemic and under-reported the case load and death toll, claiming that it has detected only 32,098 cases with 479 fatalities and 29,609 full recoveries as of Wednesday, 17 February 2021.
“Conditions in Cameron continue to worsen as violence continues and the pandemic continues to takes its public health and economic toll,” the request to President Biden explains, reiterating its warning that any deportations would effectively send Ambazonian or Cameroonian “back to unsafe conditions”.
President Trump refused to grant TPS or DED status several times during his four-year term.
The last request turned down by former president, Donald Trump, was submitted last October 26 by Ambazonian liberation movements party to the Swiss Government-led mediation and supported by 81 state, local, and national organizations across the United States.
The request transmitted Wednesday to the White House is signed by Senators Chris Van Hollen, Edward J. Markey, Benjamin Cardin, Tina Smith, Cory A. Booker, Elizabeth Warren, Tim Kaine, Martin Heinrich, Margaret Wood Hassan, Amy Klobuchar, and Michael F. Bennet.
Members of the House of Representatives who have appended their signatures to the request are Anthony G. Brown, Karen Bass, Andre Carson, Gerald E. Connolly, Suzan DelBene, Raul M. Grijalva, Henry C. “Hank” Johnson Jr., Ron Kind, James P. McGovern, Frank Pallone, Jr., Jamie Raskin, Jan Schakowsky, Lori Trahan, Juan Vargas, Bonnie Watson Coleman, Joyce Beatty, Steve Cohen, Diana DeGette, Val Demings, Alcee L. Hastings, Mondaire Jones, Barbara Lee, Grace F. Napolitano, Chris Pappas, Michael F. Q. San Nicolas, Rashida Tlaib, David Trone, Nydia M. Velazquez.
Read the full request here: