WASHINGTON (AP) — The United States has extended the temporary legal residency status for nearly 7,000 people from Syria because of the country’s civil war. Acting Department of Homeland Security Secretary David Pekoske said Friday that temporary protected status would be extended for 18 months. It had been set to expire on March 31. Temporary status allows foreign citizens to stay in the U.S. if they lack some other form of legal residency and the come from a country that meets certain criteria that makes it dangerous to return. Pekoske said Syria continues to meet that criteria because of the civil war. The Trump administration had sought to end TPS for several countries but extended it for Syrians.