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< Back to current issue of Immigration Daily < Back to current issue of Immigrant's Weekly

[Federal Register: August 3, 2001 (Volume 66, Number 150)]
[Notices]               
[Page 40833-40835]
From the Federal Register Online via GPO Access [wais.access.gpo.gov]
[DOCID:fr03au01-149]                         

[[Page 40833]]
-----------------------------------------------------------------------
Part III

Department of Justice
-----------------------------------------------------------------------
Immigration and Naturalization Service
-----------------------------------------------------------------------
Extension of the Designation of Montserrat Under the Temporary 
Protected Status Program; Notice

[[Page 40834]]
-----------------------------------------------------------------------
DEPARTMENT OF JUSTICE

Immigration and Naturalization Service

[INS No. 2146-00; AG Order No. 2496-2001]
RIN 1115-AE26

Extension of the Designation of Montserrat Under the Temporary 
Protected Status Program

AGENCY: Immigration and Naturalization Service, Justice.

ACTION: Notice.
-----------------------------------------------------------------------
SUMMARY: The designation of Montserrat under the Temporary Protected 
Status (TPS) program will expire on August 27, 2001. This notice 
extends the Attorney General's designation of Montserrat under the TPS 
program for 12 months until August 27, 2002, and sets forth procedures 
necessary for nationals of Montserrat (or aliens having no nationality 
who last habitually resided in Montserrat) with TPS to register for the 
additional 12-month period. Eligible nationals of Montserrat (or aliens 
having no nationality who last habitually resided in Montserrat) may 
re-register for TPS and an extension of employment authorization. Re-
registration is limited to persons who registered during the initial 
registration period, which ended on August 27, 1998, or who registered 
after that date under the late initial registration provisions, and who 
timely re-registered under each of the subsequent extensions. Nationals 
of Montserrat (or aliens having no nationality who last habitually 
resided in Montserrat) who previously have not applied for TPS may be 
eligible to apply under the late initial registration provisions. See 8 
CFR 244.2 (2001).

EFFECTIVE DATES: The extension of the TPS designation for Montserrat is 
effective August 27, 2001, and will remain in effect until August 27, 
2002. The 90-day re-registration period begins August 3, 2001, and will 
remain in effect until November 1, 2001.

FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: Rebecca K. Peters, Residence and 
Status Services Branch, Adjudications, Immigration and Naturalization 
Service, Room 3214, 425 I Street, NW, Washington, DC 20536, telephone 
(202) 514-4754.

SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

What Authority Does the Attorney General Have To Extend the 
Designation of Montserrat Under the TPS Program?

    Section 244(b)(3)(A) of the Immigration and Nationality Act (Act) 
states that, at least 60 days before the end of an extension or a 
designation, the Attorney General must review conditions in the foreign 
state for which the designation is in effect. 8 U.S.C. 1254a(b)(3)(A). 
If the Attorney General does not determine that the foreign state no 
longer meets the conditions for designation, the period of designation 
is extended automatically for 6 months pursuant to section 244(b)(3)(C) 
of the Act, although the Attorney General may exercise his discretion 
to extend the designation for a period of 12 or 18 months. 8 U.S.C. 
1254a(b)(3)(C). With respect to Montserrat, such an extension makes TPS 
available only to persons who have been continuously physically present 
since August 28, 1997, and have continuously resided in the United 
States since August 22, 1997.

Why Did the Attorney General Decide To Extend the TPS Designation 
for Montserrat?

    On August 28, 1997, the Attorney General designated Montserrat 
under the TPS program for a period of 12 months. 62 FR 45685. The 
Attorney General extended the TPS designation three times after 
determining that the conditions warranting such designation continued 
to be met each time. See 65 FR 58806 (Oct. 2, 2000); 64 FR 48190 (Sept. 
2, 1999); 63 FR 45864 (Aug. 27, 1998).
    Since the date of the last extension, the Departments of Justice 
and State have continued to review conditions in Montserrat. The review 
has resulted in a consensus that a further 12-month extension is 
warranted. The reasons for the extension include the continued threat 
of further volcanic eruptions, the ongoing housing shortage, and the 
serious health risks from volcanic ash. Citing the Montserrat Volcano 
Observatory's January 2001 Hazard Assessment, the State Department 
reported that, ``the volcano's dome is undergoing a period of vigorous 
growth. Even though the dome collapsed during the March 2000 eruption, 
it has reemerged and is now at its largest size since the eruption 
began in 1995. Dome growth has so far been on the south side of the 
crater, but if growth shifted to the north side, the 150 people living 
in settlements on the northwest border of the exclusion zone would be 
in danger. Such a shift in dome growth can occur within a matter of 
hours.'' According to the Department of State, the Observatory's report 
concludes that ``further dangerous volcanic activity of the kinds 
experienced in 1995-1998, including dome collapses, pyroclastic flows, 
explosive activity, ashfall, and mud flows * * * is therefore likely in 
the near future.'' On June 6, 2001, the Observatory confirmed for the 
State Department that conditions remain at a level comparable to that 
of January 2001. The State Department further notes that a housing 
shortage persists since residents crowded into the north are unable to 
return to their homes in the southern part of the island. Over 150 
people remain in temporary shelters and 800 still lack permanent 
housing. In addition to the destruction caused by the eruptions, the 
ash that periodically covers much of the island poses a health risk to 
those exposed to it. Even those living in the north of the island are 
at some risk of contracting lung disease from inhaling airborne 
particles contained in the volcanic ash.
    Based on this review, the Attorney General finds that the 
conditions that prompted designation of Montserrat under the TPS 
program continue to be met. 8 U.S.C. 1254a(b)(3)(A). There continues to 
be a substantial, but temporary, disruption of living conditions in 
Montserrat as a result of environmental disaster, and Montserrat 
remains unable, temporarily, to handle adequately the return of its 
nationals. 8 U.S.C. 1254a(b)(1)(B).
    On the basis of these findings, the Attorney General concludes that 
the TPS designation for Montserrat should be extended for an additional 
12-month period. 8 U.S.C. 1254a(b)(3)(C).

If I Currently Have TPS, How Do I Re-Register for an Extension?

    If you have already been granted TPS through the Montserrat TPS 
program, your TPS will expire on August 27, 2001. Persons previously 
granted TPS under the Montserrat program may apply for an extension by 
filing (1) a Form I-821, Application for Temporary Protected Status, 
without the fee, (2) a Form I-765, Application for Employment 
Authorization, and (3) two identification photographs (1\1/2\" x 1\1/
2\"). To determine whether or not you must submit the one hundred 
dollar ($100) filing fee with the Form I-765, see the chart below.
    Submit the re-registration package to the INS district office that 
has jurisdiction over your place of residence during the 90-day re-
registration period that begins August 3, 2001, and will remain in 
effect until November 1, 2001.

[[Page 40835]]



------------------------------------------------------------------------
                   If                                  Then
------------------------------------------------------------------------
You are applying for employment          You must complete and file:
 authorization through August 27, 2002.  (1) Form I-765, Application for
                                          Employment Authorization, with
                                          the $100 fee.
You already have employment              You must complete and file:
 authorization or do not require         (1) Form I-765, with no filing
 employment authorization.                fee.
You are applying for employment          You must complete and file:
 authorization and are requesting a fee  (1) Fee waiver request and
 waiver.                                  affidavit (and any other
                                          information) in accordance
                                          with 8 CFR 244.20, and
                                         (2) Form I-765, with no fee.
------------------------------------------------------------------------

How Does an Application for TPS Affect My Application for Asylum or 
Other Immigration Benefits?

    An application for TPS does not affect an application for asylum or 
any other immigration benefit. Denial of an application for asylum or 
any other immigration benefit does not necessarily affect disposition 
of a separate TPS application, though grounds for denying one form of 
relief may serve as the basis for denying TPS as well. For example, a 
person who has been convicted of a particularly serious crime is 
ineligible for both asylum and TPS. 8 U.S.C. 1158(b)(2); 8 U.S.C. 
1254a(c)(2)(B).

Does This Extension Allow Nationals of Montserrat (or Aliens Having 
No Nationality Who Last Habitually Resided in Montserrat) Who 
Entered the United States After August 28, 1997, To File for TPS?

    No. This is a notice of an extension of the TPS designation for 
Montserrat, not a notice of re-designation for Montserrat for TPS. An 
extension of TPS does not change the required dates of continuous 
residence and continuous physical presence in the United States and 
does not expand TPS availability to include nationals of Montserrat (or 
aliens having no nationality who last habitually resided in Montserrat) 
who arrived in the United States after the required dates for 
continuous physical presence, August 28, 1997, and continuous 
residence, August 22, 1997.

Is Late Initial Registration Possible?

    Yes. Some persons may be eligible for late initial registration 
under 8 CFR 244.2(f)(2). To apply for late initial registration an 
applicant must:
    (1) Be a national of Montserrat (or an alien who has no nationality 
and who last habitually resided in Montserrat);
    (2) Have been continuously physically present in the United States 
since August 28, 1997;
    (3) Have continuously resided in the United States since August 22, 
1997; and,
    (4) Be admissible as an immigrant, except as otherwise provided 
under section 244(c)(2)(A) of the Act, and not ineligible under section 
244(c)(2)(B) of the Act.
    Additionally, the applicant must be able to demonstrate that, 
during the initial registration period from August 28, 1997, through 
August 27, 1998, he or she:
    (1) Was a nonimmigrant or had been granted voluntary departure 
status or any relief from removal,
    (2) Had an application for change of status, adjustment of status, 
asylum, voluntary departure, or any relief from removal or change of 
status pending or subject to further review or appeal,
    (3) Was a parolee or had a pending request for reparole, or
    (4) Was the spouse or child of an alien currently eligible to be a 
TPS registrant. 8 CFR 244.2(f)(2).
    An applicant for late initial registration must register no later 
than 60 days from the expiration or termination of the conditions 
described above. 8 CFR 244.2(g).

Notice of Extension of Designation of Montserrat Under the TPS 
Program

    By the authority vested in me as Attorney General under sections 
244(b)(1), (b)(3)(A), and (b)(3)(C) of the Act, I have consulted with 
the appropriate government agencies concerning whether the conditions 
under which Montserrat was designated for TPS continue to exist. As a 
result, I determine that the conditions for designation of TPS for 
Montserrat continue to be met. 8 U.S.C. 1254a(b)(3)(A). Accordingly, I 
order as follows:
    (1) The designation of Montserrat under section 244(b) of the Act 
is extended for an additional 12-month period from August 27, 2001, to 
August 27, 2002. 8 U.S.C. 1254a(b)(3)(C).
    (2) I estimate that there are approximately 323 nationals of 
Montserrat (or aliens who have no nationality and who last habitually 
resided in Montserrat) who have been granted TPS and who are eligible 
for reregistration.
    (3) In order to be eligible for TPS during the period from August 
27, 2001, to August 27, 2002, a national of Montserrat (or an alien who 
has no nationality and who last habitually resided in Montserrat) who 
has already received a grant of TPS under the Montserrat TPS 
designation must re-register for TPS by filing a new Application for 
Temporary Protected Status, Form I-821, along with an Application for 
Employment Authorization, Form I-765, within the 90-day period 
beginning on August 3, 2001 and ending on November 1, 2001. Failure to 
re-register without good cause will result in the withdrawal of TPS. 8 
CFR 244.17(c). Some persons who had not previously applied for TPS may 
be eligible for late initial registration under 8 CFR 244.2(f)(2).
    (4) At least 60 days before this extension terminates on August 27, 
2002, the Attorney General will review the designation of Montserrat 
under the TPS program and determine whether the conditions for 
designation continue to be met. 8 U.S.C. 1254a(b)(3)(A). Notice of that 
determination, including the basis for the determination, will be 
published in the Federal Register. 8 U.S.C. 1254a(b)(3)(A).
    (5) Information concerning the Montserrat TPS program will be 
available at local INS offices upon publication of this notice and on 
the INS website at http://www.ins.usdoj.gov.

    Dated: July 30, 2001.
Larry D. Thompson,
Acting Attorney General.
[FR Doc. 01-19475 Filed 8-2-01; 8:45 am]
BILLING CODE 4410-10-P


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