WASHINGTON, D.C. (WAVY) — U.S. Sen. Tim Kaine joined senators Chris Van Hollen and Representatives Zoe Lofgren and Hank Johnson in calling on U.S. Homeland Security Secretary Alejandro Mayorkas to extend and re-designate Temporary Protected Status, or TPS, for Cameroon.

TPS is a designation for countries deemed unsafe for their citizens to return due to circumstances such as war, civil unrest or natural disaster. This allows people from those countries who are currently in the U.S. to live and work in the country temporarily, according to the release.

In their letter, the lawmakers asked the Biden Administration to renew and re-designate TPS for Cameroon in order to protect the more than 20,000 Cameroonians estimated to be living in the U.S. currently, according to their statement.

“We urge the Department of Homeland Security to issue an 18-month extension and re-designation of TPS for Cameroon, which will expire on Dec. 7,” the statement reads. “The Department determined that the designation was warranted because of ongoing armed conflict that render safe return impossible.”

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