Homeland Security granted a new temporary amnesty Monday to more than 8,000 Syrians living in the U.S. right now, saying they can remain for up to 18 months longer no matter what their legal status.

Secretary Jeh Johnson issued “temporary protected status” to Syrians, saying that if they are in the U.S. as of Monday and continue to reside here permanently, they can apply for work permits and other documents to remain and live in the U.S. without fear of being ousted.

His order applies to some 5,800 Syrians who were granted status under a 2012 TPS program, and 2,500 new arrivals who don’t have a more permanent status here.

“Syria’s lengthy civil conflict has resulted in high levels of food insecurity, limited access to water and medical care, and massive destruction of Syria’s infrastructure. Attacks against civilians, the use of chemical weapons and irregular warfare tactics, as well as forced conscription and use of child soldiers have intensified the humanitarian crisis,” Mr. Johnson said in announcing the new program.

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