Last week the Department of Homeland Security announced that it had designated the nation of Syria for Temporary Protected Status (TPS). This will be in effect for 18 months and will be reviewed again before the end of that period.
Additional details will be forthcoming from Homeland Security as to who qualifies and exactly how to work through the application process. In the meantime this would be an ideal time for Syrians in the Columbus, Ohio area to seek out assistance from an experienced immigration attorney.
Homeland Security uses the TPS designation in situations where conditions in a foreign country make it unsafe for a foreign national to return safely. Cases like civil war and environmental disaster are common reasons the designation is used by the U.S. government. If foreign nationals are found eligible for TPS they can obtain employment authorization (EAD), can be granted traveling privileges and are not removable from the U.S.
In the case of Syria, the concern is over a citizen uprising related to President Bashar al-Assad. According to the United Nations, more than 9,000 people have died since the so-called Arab Spring made its way to the country in 2011. Currently there are concerns about military snipers targeting unarmed civilians including small children.