March 3, 2022
Cameroon is grappling with multiple humanitarian crises—including an armed conflict—that have increased insecurity, destabilized the nation, and caused its people immense suffering. Under existing immigration law, the U.S. secretary of homeland security is authorized to designate a country for Temporary Protected Status (TPS) if it meets certain conditions that temporarily preclude its nationals from returning safely. Deteriorating conditions in Cameroon along with ongoing humanitarian crises exacerbated by the pandemic make return dangerous and warrant immediate humanitarian protection for Cameroonians residing in the United States. Reports indicate that current U.S. asylum policies have failed to provide Cameroonians with due process when seeking asylum. As a result, many Cameroonians have suffered ill treatment and abuse in immigration detention, where they have faced discrimination because of their race, forcing many to return to a country where they may face grave harm and persecution.The Center for American Progress estimates that there are up to 40,000 noncitizen Cameroonians living in the United States—32,700 adults and 7,300 children—who could be made eligible for protection by a TPS designation. Given the worsening crisis in Cameroon, various Black immigrants' rights advocacy organizations such as Cameroon Advocacy Network, Haitian Bridge Alliance, and UndocuBlack Network—along with members of Congress—have been advocating to temporarily protect them from deportation. It is urgent that the U.S. government do so now and provide protection and stability for Cameroonian nationals living in the United States.