Advocates: New protection for Cameroonians could save many in Ohio from ‘death sentence’


Advocates: New Protection for Cameroonians Could Save Many in Ohio from ‘Death Sentence


Authored by Yilun Cheng (Columbus Dispatch)


The TPS designation for Cameroon comes at a time when advocates nationwide are protesting against what they see as a double standard in the way that the U.S. government has treated displaced Ukrainians and non-Europeans escaping wars.


While encouraged by Cameroon’s recent TPS designation, Bello said she hopes the U.S. extends the same benefits that it gave Ukrainians — including humanitarian parole, special student relief and a halt in deportation — to Cameroonians and other African refugees.


Humanitarian parole, for example, offers a streamlined process for those in exceptional circumstances to enter the country without visas. No African nations currently are on the U.S. list of special parole countries.


The Department of Homeland Security (DHS), which oversees TPS and other humanitarian programs, did not respond to requests from The Dispatch for comment.


It might take some time for the new policy to reach the people that it intends to help, according to Emmanuel Olawale, a Westerville-based immigration attorney who is working with about a dozen Cameroonian clients.


“I’m calling my clients to tell them about TPS, but some of them are still on the fence about it. This is new information to them, and some of them, having waited on their asylum decisions for years and years, feel a sense of distrust toward the system,” Olawale said. “They are going to need a little convincing.”


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