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

[Federal Register: August 31, 2001 (Volume 66, Number 170)]
[Notices]               
[Page 46029-46031]
From the Federal Register Online via GPO Access [wais.access.gpo.gov]
[DOCID:fr31au01-81]                         
-----------------------------------------------------------------------
DEPARTMENT OF JUSTICE

Immigration and Naturalization Service

[INS No. 2164-01; AG Order No. 2505-2001]

RIN 1115-AE26

Extension of the Designation of Sierra Leone Under the Temporary 
Protected Status Program

AGENCY: Immigration and Naturalization Service, Justice.

ACTION: Notice.
-----------------------------------------------------------------------
SUMMARY: The designation of Sierra Leone under the Temporary Protected 
Status (TPS) program will expire on November 2, 2001. This notice 
extends the Attorney General's designation of Sierra Leone under the 
TPS program for 12 months until November 2, 2002, and sets forth 
procedures necessary for nationals of Sierra Leone (or aliens having no 
nationality who last habitually resided in Sierra Leone) with TPS to 
re-register for the additional 12-month period. Eligible nationals of 
Sierra Leone (or aliens having no nationality who last habitually 
resided in Sierra Leone) may re-register for TPS and an extension of 
employment authorization. Re-registration is limited to persons who (1) 
registered during the initial registration period, which ended on 
November 3, 1998, registered during the re-designation registration 
period, which ended on November 2, 2000, or registered after that date 
under the late initial registration provisions; and (2) timely re-
registered under each of any subsequent extensions. Nationals of Sierra 
Leone (or aliens having no nationality who last habitually resided in 
Sierra Leone) who previously have not applied for TPS may be eligible 
to apply under the late initial registration provisions.

EFFECTIVE DATES: The extension of the TPS designation for Sierra Leone 
is effective November 2, 2001, and will remain in effect until November 
2, 2002. The 90-day re-registration period begins August 31, 2001, and 
will remain in effect until November 29, 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 Sierra Leone 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 a designation or 
extension thereof, 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 Sierra Leone, such 
an extension makes TPS available only to persons who have been 
continuously physically present since November 9, 1999, and have 
continuously resided in the United States since November 9, 1999.

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

    On November 4, 1997, the Attorney General designated Sierra Leone 
under the TPS program for a period of 12 months. 62 FR 59736. The 
Attorney General has since extended the TPS designation two times and 
redesignated Sierra Leone once after determining that the conditions 
warranting such designation continued to be met each time. See 65 FR 
67405 (Nov. 9, 2000) (extension); 64 FR 61125 (Nov. 9, 1999) (extension 
and redesignation); 63 FR 59336 (Nov. 3, 1998) (extension).
    Since the date of the last extension, the Departments of Justice 
and State have continued to review conditions in Sierra Leone. The 
review has resulted in a consensus that a further 12-month extension is 
warranted. The State Department reports that the armed conflict within 
Sierra Leone persists: ``Though characterized by a tenuous ceasefire, 
and with many combatants entering a disarmament and demobilization 
program, conflicts and battles between competing elements and factions 
continue to occur, often causing casualties and deaths among the 
civilian population.'' Recommendation for Extension of Temporary 
Protected Status, INS/DOS Consultation for Sierra Leone (July 12, 
2001). The United Nations (UN) peacekeeping operation, United Nations 
Mission in Sierra Leone, is gradually extending its deployment, but 
many areas of the country are

[[Page 46030]]

without effective civil control. Id. The State Department also referred 
to a May 23, 2001 statement by UN Secretary General Kofi Annan, in 
which he cautioned that conditions for promoting return of refugees 
from neighboring countries did not exist since portions of Sierra Leone 
remain in the hands of the Revolutionary United Front and beyond the 
reach of humanitarian aid organizations. Id.
    Based on this review, the Attorney General finds that the 
conditions that prompted designation of Sierra Leone under the TPS 
program continue to be met. 8 U.S.C.1254a(b)(3)(A). The Attorney 
General concludes that the TPS designation for Sierra Leone should be 
extended for a period of 12 months. 8 U.S.C. 1254a(b)(3)(C). There is 
an ongoing armed conflict within Sierra Leone and, due to such 
conflict, requiring the return of aliens who are nationals of Sierra 
Leone (or aliens having no nationality who last habitually resided in 
Sierra Leone) would pose a serious threat to their personal safety. 8 
U.S.C. 1254a(b)(1)(A). Furthermore, there exist extraordinary and 
temporary conditions in Sierra Leone that prevent nationals of Sierra 
Leone (and aliens having no nationality who last habitually resided in 
Sierra Leone) from returning home in safety. 8 U.S.C. 1254a(b)(1)(C). 
Finally, permitting nationals of Sierra Leone to remain temporarily in 
the United States is not contrary to the national interest of the 
United States. 8 U.S.C. 1254a(b)(1). On the basis of these findings, 
the Attorney General concludes that the TPS designation for Sierra 
Leone 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 Sierra Leone TPS 
program, your TPS will expire on November 2, 2001. Persons previously 
granted TPS under the Sierra Leone program may apply for an extension 
by filing (1) the Form I-821, Application for Temporary Protected 
Status, without the fee, (2) the Form I-765, Application for Employment 
Authorization, and (3) two identification photographs (1\1/2\ inches x 
1\1/2\ inches). To determine whether you must submit the one hundred 
dollar ($100) filing fee with the Form I-765, see the chart below. 
Children beneficiaries of TPS who have reached the age of 14 but were 
not previously fingerprinted must pay the twenty-five dollar ($25) 
fingerprint fee upon their next application for extension.
    Submit the re-registration package to the Immigration and 
Naturalization Service (Service) district office that has jurisdiction 
over your place of residence during the 90-day re-registration period 
that begins August 31, 2001, and will remain in effect until November 
29, 2001.

------------------------------------------------------------------------
                    If                                  Then
------------------------------------------------------------------------
You are applying for employment             You must complete and file:
 authorization through November 2, 2002.     (1) Form I-765, Application
                                             for Employment
                                             Authorization, with the
                                             $100 fee.
You already have employment authorization   You must complete and file:
 or do not require employment                (1) Form I-765, with no
 authorization.                              filing 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 Sierra Leone (or Aliens 
Having No Nationality Who Last Habitually Resided in Sierra Leone) 
Who Entered the United States After November 9, 1999, To File for 
TPS?

    No. This is a notice of an extension of the TPS designation for 
Sierra Leone, not a notice of redesignation of Sierra Leone under the 
TPS program. An extension of TPS does not change the required dates of 
continuous residence and continuous physical presence in the United 
States and, thus, does not expand TPS availability to include nationals 
of Sierra Leone (or aliens having no nationality who last habitually 
resided in Sierra Leone) who have not been continuously physically 
present in, and have not continuously resided in, the United States 
since November 9, 1999.

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 Sierra Leone (or an alien who has no 
nationality and who last habitually resided in Sierra Leone);
    (2) Have been continuously physically present in the United States 
since November 9, 1999;
    (3) Have continuously resided in the United States since November 
9, 1999; and,
    (4) Be both 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 redesignation registration period from November 9, 1999 
through November 2, 2000, 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 Sierra Leone 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 and determine that the conditions 
that prompted designation of Sierra Leone for TPS continue to be met. 8 
U.S.C.1254a(b)(3)(A). Accordingly, I order as follows:
    (1) The designation of Sierra Leone under section 244(b) of the Act 
is extended for an additional 12-month period from November 2, 2001 
through November 2, 2002. 8 U.S.C. 1254a(b)(3)(C).
    (2) I estimate that there are approximately 6,102 nationals of 
Sierra Leone (or aliens who have no nationality and who last habitually 
resided in Sierra Leone) who have been granted TPS and who are eligible 
for re-registration.

[[Page 46031]]

    (3) In order to be eligible for TPS during the period from November 
2, 2001 through November 2, 2002, a national of Sierra Leone (or an 
alien who has no nationality and who last habitually resided in Sierra 
Leone) who has already received a grant of TPS under the Sierra Leone 
TPS designation must re-register for TPS by filing (1) the new Form I-
821, Application for Temporary Protected Status, (2) the Form I-765, 
Application for Employment Authorization, and (3) two identification 
photographs (1\1/2\ inches  x  1\1/2\ inches), within the 90-day period 
beginning on August 31, 2001 and ending on November 29, 2001. There is 
no fee for a Form I-821 filed as part of the re-registration 
application. If the applicant requests employment authorization, he or 
she must submit one hundred dollars ($100) or a properly documented fee 
waiver request, pursuant to 8 CFR 244.20, with the Form I-765. An 
applicant who does not request employment authorization must 
nonetheless file the Form I-765 along with the Form I-821, but is not 
required to submit the fee. The twenty-five dollar ($25) fingerprint 
fee is required only for children beneficiaries of TPS who have reached 
the age of 14 but were not previously fingerprinted. 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 November 
2, 2002, the Attorney General will review the designation of Sierra 
Leone 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 Sierra Leone TPS program will be 
available at local Service offices upon publication of this notice and 
on the Service website at http://www.ins.usdoj.gov.

    Dated: August 28, 2001.
Larry D. Thompson,
Acting Attorney General.
[FR Doc. 01-22132 Filed 8-29-01; 2:56 pm]
BILLING CODE 4410-10-P



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