Coalition of 100+ organizations and leaders call on Biden Administration to protect undocumented Nigerians in U.S. fleeing civil unrest in Nigeria

Over 100 local, state, national, and international organizations, led by the Nigerian Center in Washington, D.C., call for President Joe Biden, Department of Homeland Security Secretary, Alejandro Mayorkas, and Secretary of State, Antony Blinken, to grant immediate designation of Temporary Protected Status (TPS) and Special Student Relief (SSR) for Nigeria. TPS protects non-citizens in the United States, including undocumented immigrants, who cannot safely return to their home country. TPS designations are particularly critical to Black immigrants who may slip through cracks in the asylum system. The coalition is asking concerned Americans to contact their elected official to support the designation for Nigeria. 

As Nigeria goes to the polls amidst unprecedented threats of violence and instability, advocates call for TPS or Deferred Enforced Departure (DED). According to the Armed Conflict Location & Event Data Project’s election violence tracker, there were 4197 violent events from January 2022 until February 2023, with 11,424 reported casualties. Radical militant groups and designated terrorist factions have carried out widespread killings, kidnappings, and looting throughout Nigeria. In counter-attacks, the government has resorted to air strikes, resulting in the ongoing armed conflict against Boko Haram and Islamic State in West Africa (ISWAP). Civilians face the brunt of the conflict, with large-scale displacement, interrupted livelihoods, food insecurity, and safety concerns. An estimated 6,500,000 people have been displaced by its complex crisis.

“Nigeria is currently facing some of its most challenging times, ranging from economic instability to the security of its citizens. However, we at the Nigerian Center firmly believe in Nigeria’s unbreakable spirit and tremendous potential. Recent reports estimate that current TPS holders and TPS-eligible individuals contribute $22 billion in wages to the U.S. economy each year, filling important gaps in an economy plagued by persistent labor shortages. And most importantly, we must advocate for U.S. citizen children to remain safe and bound to their loved ones’ TPS protections. Granting TPS or DED to Nigeria will demonstrate the U.S. commitment to the prosperity and well-being of Nigeria and its people living in the United States while also saving lives,” stated Gbenga Ogunjimi, Founder and CEO of The Nigerian Center.

“Nigeria, Africa’s largest democracy and most populous nation, is currently plagued by a state of war, strife, and anarchy brought upon its citizens by regional ISIS-inspired terrorist groups. Women and children, particularly in northern Nigeria, are vulnerable to kidnappings, killings, and rape. Nigeria also has the third-highest number of internally displaced persons (IDPs) in Africa, with 2.7 million people displaced in 2020. Granting TPS for those who migrated to the U.S., built a home here, and raised their children will reinforce their trust in the core values of freedom and democracy,” Dr. Nelson Aluya, President of Nigerian American Public Affairs Committee, USA.

Individuals needing immigration assistance should contact the Nigerian Center online or call 202-330-0352. 

About The Nigerian Center: The Nigerian Center Inc. as the first immigrant and cultural center that serves the Nigerian American community, as well as other immigrant populations in the United States, we offer a wide range of services. This includes a free walk-in immigration clinic, collateral-and-credit-free small business lending, first-time homebuyer programs, language classes, and cultural programs. Located in Washington, D.C., The Nigerian Center provides a platform for members of the African diaspora to learn about their Nigerian heritage while connecting them to the current Nigerian American culture in the United States.

About the Author

New York Trend is a weekly news publication that focuses on issues and lifestyles of the African & Caribbean American communities throughout the New York metropolitan area and Nassau and Suffolk Counties of Long Island. It is a respected and well recognized news publication that has been in existence since 1989. Owner, Publisher and Executive Director, Dr. Teresa Taylor Williams has been at the helm of this award-winning publication since its inception. New York Trend continues to be the only black woman-owned, metropolitan newspaper in New York and Long island. New York Trend is the largest black-owned newspaper throughout Nassau and Suffolk counties.