President Donald Trump’s administration will allow thousands of Syrians in the U.S. under a special immigration program to stay in the country, but will not allow new applications after a March deadline, according to a report published Wednesday.
About 7,000 Syrians are in the U.S. under the program, known as Temporary Protected Status, or TPS. It allows them to stay in the country legally, and avoid having to return to the country that has been wracked by a civil war since 2011 that shows no signs of abating anytime soon.
The Department of Homeland Security will extend the protections for those in the country past the March 31 deadline, but will not re-designate Syria as a TPS-eligible country, The Associated Press reported citing two anonymous U.S. officials.
The department did not respond to multiple requests for comment.
Syria was last re-designated for TPS on Aug. 1, 2016 after being put on the select list of nations in 2012.
It is unclear when the decision will be made public. It follows successive attempts from the Trump administration to curtail immigration from Muslim-majority countries.