The Biden administration offered temporary legal residency Friday to people from Myanmar, where military leaders have overthrown the country's elected government and are using deadly force against protesters.
Homeland Security Secretary Alejandro Mayorkas said the temporary protected status would last for 18 months. The designation applies to people from that country already living in the United States.
Myanmar's military seized power February 1, hours before the seating of a new parliament following election results that were seen as a rebuff to the country's generals. The coup upended internationally backed efforts to restore democracy and end decades of junta rule. Security forces have killed dozens of protesters since the coup.
Mayorkas said in a statement that the takeover has worsened humanitarian conditions, disrupted aid and medical flights into the country and brought on an economic crisis, making it difficult for Myanmar nationals and long-time residents to return to the country safely.