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[Federal Register: May 3, 2002 (Volume 67, Number 86)]
[Notices]               
[Page 22451-22454]
From the Federal Register Online via GPO Access [wais.access.gpo.gov]
[DOCID:fr03my02-70]                         

-----------------------------------------------------------------------

DEPARTMENT OF JUSTICE

Immigration and Naturalization Service

[INS No. 2197-02; AG Order No. 2577-2002]
RIN 1115-AE26

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

AGENCY: Immigration and Naturalization Service, Justice.

ACTION: Notice.

-----------------------------------------------------------------------

SUMMARY: The designation of Honduras under the Temporary Protected 
Status (TPS) Program will expire on July 5, 2002. This notice extends 
the Attorney General's designation of Honduras for 12 months until July 
5, 2003, and sets forth procedures necessary for nationals of Honduras 
(or aliens having no nationality who last habitually resided in 
Honduras) with TPS to re-register for the additional 12-month period. 
Re-registration is available only to persons who registered under the 
initial Honduras TPS designation, which ended on July 5, 1999, or who 
registered after that date under the late initial registration 
provisions, and timely re-registered under each subsequent extension. 
Nationals of Honduras (or aliens having no nationality who last 
habitually resided in Honduras) who have not previously applied for TPS

[[Page 22452]]

may be eligible to apply for TPS under late initial registration 
provisions.

EFFECTIVE DATES: The extension of the TPS designation for Honduras is 
effective July 5, 2002, and will remain in effect until July 5, 2003. 
The 60-day re-registration period begins May 3, 2002 and will remain in 
effect until July 2, 2002.

FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: Emily Crowder Frazelle, Program 
Analyst, Residence and Status Branch, Adjudications, Immigration and 
Naturalization Service, 425 I Street, NW, Room 3040, Washington, DC 
20536, telephone (202) 514-4754.

SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

What Authority Does the Attorney General Have To Extend the 
Designation of Honduras 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 any 
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 continues to meet 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).

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

    On January 5, 1999, the Attorney General initially designated 
Honduras under the TPS program for a period of 18 months based on the 
severe flooding and mudslides caused by Hurricane Mitch. (64 FR 524). 
The fierce storm that swept through the country killed more than 5,000 
people, damaged over 440,000 homes, destroyed over 100 bridges and 
washed away countless roads. Immigration and Naturalization Service 
(INS) Resource Information Center, Recommendation to Extend (April 
2000). Following the initial designation, the Department of Justice 
kept a close watch over the progress of reconstruction in Honduras and 
consulted with relevant government agencies regularly. Given the amount 
of reconstruction necessary, the Attorney General extended the Honduras 
TPS designation twice, on May 11, 2000 (65 FR 30438) and May 8, 2001 
(66 FR 23269). Each decision to extend the TPS designation was made on 
the determination that the conditions that warranted TPS designation 
initially continued to exist.
    After the extension of Honduras' TPS designation on May 8, 2001, 
the Departments of State and Justice continued to monitor the 
conditions in that country. Prior to his decision to extend the 
Honduras TPS designation, the Attorney General consulted appropriate 
government agencies to determine whether conditions warranting the TPS 
designation continue to exist in Honduras. Although there are strong 
indications of progress in recovery efforts, recent droughts as well as 
flooding from Hurricane Michelle in 2001 have added to the 
humanitarian, economic, and social problems initially brought on by 
Hurricane Mitch in 1998, making the country unable, temporarily, to 
handle the return of approximately 105,000 nationals.
    This assessment is consistent with a recent Department of State 
report that found that although a significant amount of reconstruction 
has been completed since Hurricane Mitch, ``Honduras was also seriously 
affected by a drought and hurricane last year, causing further 
destruction and emergency conditions.'' Recommendation for Extension of 
TPS (March 22, 2002). Hurricane Michelle affected more than 50,000 
people and damaged 1,300 houses, compounding the reconstruction efforts 
following Hurricane Mitch. Id. Such repeated environmental catastrophes 
have interrupted Honduras' ability to recover from Hurricane Mitch and, 
as a result, the country continues to lack the needed stability and 
infrastructure to support the return of its nationals. The INS Resource 
Information Center reported in March 2002 that, in concert with 
Hurricane Mitch, these more recent disasters ``have produced major 
problems of food insecurity, unemployment and displacement of 
citizens'' and ``resulted in significant setbacks to full economic 
recovery from the damages sustained in 1998.''
    In addition to the environmental setbacks, Honduras' reconstruction 
efforts have been hindered by delays in disbursements of aid needed to 
rebuild. The Department of State reports that, in some instances, these 
delays in disbursement of funds from international donors and lending 
institutions have slowed the rehabilitation of Honduras' 
infrastructure. Continuing Mitch Reconstruction (March 2002). For 
example, delayed disbursements in foreign countries' pledges to rebuild 
bridges and roads resulted in approximately 1,724 meters of bridges 
remaining unfinished, and 558 kilometers of road left to be 
rehabilitated. Id. Further, approximately 64 percent of homes destroyed 
by Hurricane Mitch remain in need of rebuilding or repair. Id. These 
setbacks, in addition to problems caused by the subsequent flooding and 
droughts, render Honduras unable to handle adequately the return of its 
nationals. Consequently, the conditions under which Honduras was 
designated for TPS have not ceased to exist.
    Based on this review, the Attorney General, after consultation with 
appropriate government agencies, finds that the conditions that 
prompted designation of Honduras under the TPS program continue to be 
met. 8 U.S.C. 1254a(b)(3)(C). There continues to be a substantial, but 
temporary, disruption of living conditions in Honduras as a result of 
environmental disaster, and Honduras continues to be unable, 
temporarily, to handle adequately the return of its nationals. 8 U.S.C. 
1254a(b)(1)(B)(i)-(ii). On the basis of these findings, the Attorney 
General concludes that the TPS designation for Honduras should be 
extended for an additional 12-month period. 8 U.S.C. 1254a(b)(3)(C).

If I Currently Have TPS Through the Honduras TPS Program, Do I 
still Re-register for TPS?

    Yes. If you already have been granted TPS through the Honduras TPS 
program, your status will expire on July 5, 2002. Accordingly, you must 
re-register for TPS in order to maintain your status through July 5, 
2003. See the following re-registration instructions.

If I Am Currently Registered for TPS, How Do I Reregister for an 
Extension?

    All persons previously granted TPS under the Honduras program who 
wish to maintain such status must apply for an extension by filing (1) 
a Form I-821, Application for Temporary Protected Status, without the 
filing fee; (2) a Form I-765, Application for Employment Authorization; 
and (3) two identification photographs (1\1/2\ inches x 1\1/2\ inches). 
See the chart below to determine whether you must submit the one 
hundred and twenty dollar ($120) filing fee with the Form I-765. 
Applicants for an extension of TPS benefits do not need to be re-
fingerprinted and thus need not pay the fifty-dollar ($50) fingerprint 
fee. Children beneficiaries of TPS who have reached the age of fourteen 
(14) but were not previously fingerprinted must

[[Page 22453]]

pay the fifty dollar ($50) fingerprint fee with the application for 
extension.
    Submit the completed forms and applicable fee, if any, to the INS 
service center office having jurisdiction over your place of residence 
during the 60-day re-registration period that begins May 3, 2002 and 
ends July 2, 2002 (inclusive of such end date).

------------------------------------------------------------------------
                  If--                                Then--
------------------------------------------------------------------------
You are applying for employment          You must complete and file the
 authorization until July 5, 2003.        Form I-765, Application for
                                          Employment Authorization, with
                                          the $120 fee.
You already have employment              You must complete and file Form
 authorization or do not require          I-765 with no fee.
 employment authorization.
You are applying for employment          You must complete and file: (1)
 authorization and are requesting a fee   Form I-765 with no fee and (2)
 waiver.                                  a fee waiver request and
                                          affidavit (and any other
                                          information) in accordance
                                          with 8 CFR 244.20.
------------------------------------------------------------------------

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. A national of Honduras (or alien having 
no nationality who last habitually resided in Honduras) who is 
otherwise eligible for TPS and has applied for, or plans to apply for, 
asylum, but who has not yet been granted asylum or withholding of 
removal, may also apply for TPS. Denial of an application for asylum or 
any other immigration benefit does not affect an applicant's ability to 
apply for TPS, although the grounds for denying one form of relief may 
also be grounds for denying TPS. For example, a person who has been 
convicted of a particularly serious crime is not eligible for asylum or 
TPS. 8 U.S.C. 1158(b)(2); 8 U.S.C. 1254a(c)(2)(B)(i).

Does This Extension Allow Nationals of Honduras (or Aliens Having 
No Nationality Who Last Habitually Resided in Honduras) Who Entered 
the United States After December 30, 1998, to Apply for TPS?

    No. This is a notice of an extension of the TPS designation for 
Honduras, not a notice of re-designation of Honduras 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. This extension does not expand TPS availability to those who 
are not already TPS class members. To be eligible for this extension, 
Hondurans (or aliens having no nationality and who last habitually 
resided in Honduras) must have resided continuously in the United 
States since December 30, 1998 and have been continuously physically 
present in the United States since January 5, 1999.

Is Late Initial Registration Possible?

    Yes. Some persons may be eligible for late initial registration 
under 8 CFR 244.2. To apply for late initial registration an applicant 
must:
    (1) Be a national of Honduras (or alien who has no nationality and 
who last habitually resided in Honduras);
    (2) Have been continuously physically present in the United States 
since January 5 1999;
    (3) Have continuously resided in the United States since December 
30, 1998; and
    (4) Be both admissible as an immigrant, except as 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 January 5, 1999, through July 5, 
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 file an application 
for late registration within a 60-day period immediately following the 
expiration or termination of the conditions described above. 8 CFR 
244.2(g).

Notice of Extension of Designation of Honduras Under the TPS 
Program

    By the authority vested in me as Attorney General under sections 
244(b)(1)(B), (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 Honduras for TPS continue to be 
met. 8 U.S.C. 1254a(b)(3)(A). Accordingly, I order as follows:
    (1) The designation of Honduras under section 244(b) of the Act is 
extended for an additional 12-month period from July 5, 2002, to July 
5, 2003. 8 U.S.C. 1254a(b)(3)(C).
    (2) There are approximately 105,000 nationals of Honduras (or 
aliens having no nationality who last habitually resided in Honduras) 
who have been granted TPS and who are eligible for re-registration.
    (3) To maintain TPS, a national of Honduras (or an alien having no 
nationality who last habitually resided in Honduras) who received TPS 
during the initial designation period must re-register for TPS during 
the 60-day re-registration period from May 3, 2002 until July 2, 2002.
    (4) To re-register, the applicant must file the following: (1) Form 
I-821, Application for Temporary Protected Status; (2) Form I-765, 
Application for Employment Authorization; and (3) two identification 
photographs (1\1/2\ inches by 1\1/2\ inches). 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 and twenty dollars ($120) 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 
Form I-765 along with Form I-821, but is not required to submit the 
fee. The fifty dollar ($50) 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.
    (5) At least 60 days before this extension terminates on July 5, 
2003, the Attorney General will review the designation of Honduras 
under the TPS program and determine whether the conditions for 
designation continue to be met. 8 U.S.C. 1254a(b)(3)(A). Notice

[[Page 22454]]

of that determination, including the basis for the determination, will 
be published in the Federal Register. 8 USC 1254a(b)(3)(A).
    (6) Information concerning the extension of designation of Honduras 
under the TPS program will be available at local INS offices upon 
publication of this notice and the INS National Customer Service Center 
at 1-800-375-5283. This information will also be posted on the INS 
website at http://www.ins.usdoj.gov.

    Dated: April 30, 2002.
John Ashcroft,
Attorney General.
[FR Doc. 02-11130 Filed 5-1-02; 12:59 pm]
BILLING CODE 4410-10-P



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