Trump signs Temporary Protected Status for Sierra Leoneans following new flooding

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The US government on Monday announced it has granted a Temporary Protected Status, or TPS to several Sierra Leoneans arriving in the United States due to torrential rains in the nation’s capital over the last two days, displacing some 4,500 people.

White House Press Secretary, Sarah Sanders said it is courteous for the US government to mitigate further life losses as the Sierra Leonean government and other partners are working to set up temporary settlements for flood-stricken people while figuring out a lasting solution.

“The new floods over the weekend displaced 4,471 and the only thing we could do humanly is to welcome and grant them a TPS,” the Press Secretary said.

The flooding come just weeks after an August 14 flood and mudslide disaster which killed over 600 and displaced over 10,000 people in Freetown, capital of the West African nation.

TPS is a federal program that allows people living in counties that are plagued with civil conflict or environmental disasters to live and work in the United States. About 58,000 Haitians have been protected from deportation under TPS.

TPS was granted to Haitian nationals under the Obama administration after an earthquake devastated the nation in 2010. The Trump administration announced in May that TPS for Haitians will expire January 22.

With TPS signed by Donald Trump, Sierra Leoneans in and arriving in the US are protected from deportation and removal from the country.

News of this effort by the US government has been described as welcoming news in Sierra Leone and citizens have thronged at the embassy of the United States in Freetown to obtain visas to flee the country.