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

[Federal Register: July 11, 2002 (Volume 67, Number 133)]
[Notices]               
[Page 46000-46003]
From the Federal Register Online via GPO Access [wais.access.gpo.gov]
[DOCID:fr11jy02-92]                         

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

DEPARTMENT OF JUSTICE

Immigration and Naturalization Service

[INS No. 2212-02; AG Order No. 2597-2002]
RIN 1115-AE26

 
Extension of the Designation of El Salvador Under the Temporary 
Protected Status Program; Automatic Extension of Employment 
Authorization Documentation for Salvadorans

AGENCY: Immigration and Naturalization Service, Justice.

ACTION: Notice.

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

SUMMARY: The designation of El Salvador under the Temporary Protected 
Status (TPS) program will expire on September 9, 2002. This notice 
extends the Attorney General's designation of El Salvador for 12 months 
until September 9, 2003. This extension allows eligible nationals of El 
Salvador to re-register for TPS and to apply for an extension of their 
employment authorization documentation. The re-registration period will 
begin on September 9, 2002 and remain in effect through November 12, 
2002.
    Given the large number of Salvadorans affected by this notice and 
given that the initial registration period runs for the duration of the 
initial 18-month designation period, the Immigration and Naturalization 
Service (Service) recognizes that many re-registrants will not receive 
their new Employment Authorization Documents (EADs) until after their 
current EADs expire on September 9, 2002. Accordingly, this notice 
automatically extends, until March 9, 2003, the validity of EADs issued 
pursuant to the El Salvador TPS program, and explains how TPS 
beneficiaries or their employers may determine which EADs are 
automatically extended. This notice also sets forth procedures by which 
Salvadoran TPS class members must re-register for the 12-month 
extension.

EFFECTIVE DATES: The extension of the TPS designation for El Salvador 
is effective September 9, 2002, and will remain in effect until 
September 9, 2003. The re-registration period begins September 9, 2002 
and will remain in effect until November 12, 2002. Applications for re-
registration will not be accepted before September 9, 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, D C 
20536, telephone (202) 514-4754.

SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

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

    Section 244(b)(3)(A) of the Immigration and Nationality Act (the 
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 El Salvador?

    On March 9, 2001, the Attorney General initially designated El 
Salvador under the TPS program for a period of 18 months, based on a 
series of severe earthquakes that caused numerous fatalities and 
injuries and left 1.6 million people (over one-quarter of the country's 
population) without adequate housing. 66 FR 14214; Service Resource 
Information Center Report (RIC Report) (May 14, 2002). Following the 
initial designation, the Departments of State and Justice have 
monitored the reconstruction progress in El Salvador. The Attorney 
General's decision to extend the TPS designation is made on the 
determination that the conditions that warranted TPS designation 
initially continue to exist.
    The Department of State reports that the earthquakes affected two-
thirds of the country and damaged or destroyed over 300,000 houses. 
State Department Report (May 9, 2002). While the Government of El 
Salvador has made great strides in responding to the immediate 
humanitarian impact of the earthquakes, the Department of State reports 
that much of the country remains devastated. As of April 2002, the 
Government of El Salvador has replaced less than one quarter of the 
170,000 homes destroyed by the earthquakes. Id. An estimated one half 
of all families who lost their homes remain in temporary metal or 
plastic shelters. RIC Report.
    The Department of State also reports that El Salvador's 
infrastructure remains severely damaged. ``More than three-quarters of 
the over 1,000 km. of damaged road [sic] needs repair.'' State 
Department Report. The earthquakes affected 40 percent of the country's 
education and health infrastructure; many of the 2,200 schools, 120 
health centers, and 900 public buildings damaged in the earthquakes 
have yet to be repaired or replaced. Id. The Service Resource 
Information Center reports that, by the beginning of 2002, there had 
been little reconstruction in the health sector. The seven most quake-
damaged hospitals were described by health officials as still in a 
``critical state,'' and

[[Page 46001]]

work on rebuilding smaller healthcare facilities had only begun. RIC 
Report.
    El Salvador's reconstruction efforts also have been hindered by 
delays in the disbursement of aid needed to rebuild. As of October 
2001, El Salvador had received only 39 percent of the $354 million 
committed by donors, much of which has been from the United States. 
State Department Reportcommendation. While USAID is assisting 
reconstruction through a 2-year $110 million program, most of the major 
USAID activities did not commence until March 2002. Id.
    The Service Resource Information Center reports that El Salvador's 
recovery has been further affected by a subsequent drought. Food stocks 
were already depleted following the earthquakes, and the drought has 
left at least 35,000 subsistence farming families destitute 
(approximately 318,000 people). As of April 2002, up to 200,000 people 
were still threatened by ``food insecurity.'' UNICEF reported in April 
2002 that 34 percent of children in the four eastern departments most 
affected by last year's drought suffer from malnutrition, up from 12 
percent in 2000. RIC Report. Ongoing housing shortages, damage to 
infrastructure, reduction in employment opportunities, and the infancy 
of the reconstruction effort render El Salvador temporarily unable to 
absorb the return of its nationals. State Department Report.
    Based on this review, the Attorney General, after consultation with 
appropriate government agencies, finds that the conditions that 
prompted designation of El Salvador 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 El Salvador as a 
result of environmental disaster, and El Salvador 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 El Salvador 
should be extended for an additional 12-month period. 8 U.S.C. 
1254a(b)(3)(C).

If I Currently Have TPS Benefits Through the El Salvador TPS 
Program, Do I Still Re-Register for TPS?

    Yes. If you already have received TPS benefits through the El 
Salvador TPS program, your benefits will expire on September 9, 2002. 
Accordingly, you must re-register for TPS in order to maintain your 
benefits through September 9, 2003. See the following re-registration 
instructions. TPS benefits include temporary protection against removal 
from the United States, as well as work authorization, during the TPS 
designation period and any extension thereof. 8 U.S.C. 1254a(a)(1).

If My Initial El Salvador TPS Application Is Pending, Do I Still 
Re-Register for TPS?

    Yes. If your initial TPS application is still pending approval, you 
must re-register for TPS during the re-registration period in order to 
be eligible for this extension. See the following re-registration 
instructions.

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

    All persons previously granted TPS benefits under the El Salvador 
TPS program who wish to maintain such benefits 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. Child beneficiaries of TPS who have reached the 
age of fourteen (14) but were not previously fingerprinted must pay the 
fifty dollar ($50) fingerprint fee with the application for extension.
    Submit the completed forms and applicable fee, if any, to the 
Service's service center office having jurisdiction over your place of 
residence during the 60-day re-registration period that begins 
September 9, 2002, and ends November 12, 2002 (inclusive of such end 
date). Applications will not be accepted before the re-registration 
period begins.

------------------------------------------------------------------------
                   If                                  Then
------------------------------------------------------------------------
You are applying for an Employment       You must complete and file the
 Authorization Document until September   Form I-765, Application for
 9, 2003.                                 Employment Authorization, with
                                          the $120 fee.
You already have an Employment           You must complete and file Form
 Authorization Document or do not         I-765 with no fee.
 require such a document.
You are applying for an Employment       You must complete and file: (1)
 Authorizataion Document and are          Form I-765 with no fee and (2)
 requesting a fee 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 El Salvador (or alien 
having no nationality who last habitually resided in El Salvador) 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 El Salvador (or aliens 
having no nationality who last habitually resided in El Salvador) 
Who Entered the United States After February 13, 2001, To Apply for 
TPS?

    No. This is a notice of an extension of the TPS designation for El 
Salvador, not a notice of redesignation of El Salvador 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 benefits under 
this extension, Salvadorans (or aliens having no nationality and who 
last habitually resided in El Salvador) must have resided continuously 
in the United States since February 13, 2001, and must have been 
continuously physically present in the United States since March 9, 
2001.

[[Page 46002]]

Is Late Initial Registration Possible?

    Yes. Some persons may be eligible for late initial registration 
under 8 CFR 244.2. To be eligible for late initial registration, an 
applicant must:
    (1) Be a national of El Salvador (or alien who has no nationality 
and who last habitually resided in El Salvador);
    (2) Have been continuously physically present in the United States 
since
    March 9, 2001;
    (3) Have continuously resided in the United States since February 
13, 2001; 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 March 9, 2001, through September 
9, 2002, 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).

Why Is the Attorney General Automatically Extending the Validity of 
EADs From September 9, 2002, to March 9, 2003?

    The Attorney General has decided to extend automatically the 
validity of EADs to prevent a lapse in Service-issued employment 
authorization documentation for qualified re-registrants during the 
time that re-registration applications are processed. Since Because the 
initial designation's registration period remains open until September 
9, 2002, the Service will continue to receive and process initial TPS 
applications until the end of the initial designation period. To 
minimize overlapping receipts of both initial registration and re-
registration applications, which are filed on the same forms but have 
different documentation and fee requirements, the Attorney General has 
elected to open the 60-day re-registration period only after the 
initial registration period closes on September 9, 2002. Given the 
staggering of initial registration and re-registration periods, and 
given the large number of Salvadoran TPS class members who are eligible 
for re-registration, re-registrants would receive their new EADs only 
after their current EADs have expired. To prevent a gap in employment 
authorization documentation for qualified re-registrants, the Attorney 
General is extending automatically the validity of the applicable EADs 
for a period of 6 months, to March 9, 2003. 8 U.S.C. 1254a(a)(2); 
1254a(d)(1)-(2).

Who Is Eligible To Receive an Automatic Extension of His or Her 
EAD?

    To receive an automatic extension of his or her EAD, an individual 
must be a national of El Salvador (or an alien having no nationality 
who last habitually resided in El Salvador) who has applied for and 
received an EAD under the initial TPS designation for El Salvador. This 
automatic extension is limited to EADs bearing an expiration date of 
September 9, 2002, and the notation: ``A-12'' or ``C-19'' on the face 
of the card under ``Category'' for EADs issued on Form I-766 or 
``274A.12(A)(12)'' or 274A.12(C)(19)'' on the face of the card under 
``Provision of Law'' for EADs issued on Form I-688B.
    TPS applicants who have not yet received their initial or 
provisional EAD, including those who apply after the date of this 
notice but before the initial registration period closes on September 
9, 2002, may receive an EAD that facially expires on September 9, 2002. 
Such an EAD is covered by the automatic extension described above, even 
though some applicants may receive their EAD only after September 9, 
2002.

Must Qualified Individuals Apply to the Service for the Automatic 
Extension of Their TPS-related EADs?

    No, qualified individuals do not have to apply for this automatic 
employment authorization extension to March 9, 2003. However, qualified 
individuals must re-register for TPS during the re-registration period 
that begins on September 9, 2002, and continues through November 12, 
2002, in order to be eligible for a new EAD that is valid until 
September 9, 2003.

What Documents May a Qualified Individual Show to His or Her 
Employer as Proof of Employment Authorization and Identity When 
Completing the Employment Eligibility Verification Form (Form I-9)?

    For completion of the Form I-9 at the time of hire or re-
verification, qualified individuals who have received an extension of 
employment authorization by virtue of this Federal Register notice may 
present to their employer a TPS-related EAD as proof of identity and 
employment authorization until March 9, 2003. To minimize confusion 
over this extension at the time of hire or re-verification, qualified 
individuals may also present to their employer a copy of this Federal 
Register notice regarding the automatic extension of employment 
authorization documentation to March 9, 2003. In the alternative, any 
legally acceptable document or combination of documents listed in List 
A, List B, or List C of the Form I-9 may be presented as proof of 
identity and employment eligibility; it is the choice of the employee.

How May Employers Determine Which EADs That Have Been Automatically 
Extended Through March 9, 2003, Are Acceptable for Completion of 
the Form I-9?

    For purposes of verifying identity and employment eligibility or 
re-verifying employment eligibility on the Form I-9 until March 9, 
2003, employers of Salvadoran TPS class members whose employment 
authorization has been automatically extended by this notice must 
accept an EAD that contains an expiration date of September 9, 2002, 
and that bears one of the following notations: ``A-12'' or ``C-19'' on 
the face of the card under ``Category'' for EADs issued on Form I-766; 
or, ``274A.12(A) (12)'' or ``274A.12(c) (19)'' on the face of the card 
under ``Provision of Law'' for EADs issued on Form I-688B. New EADs or 
extension stickers showing the March 9, 2003 expiration date will not 
be issued.
    Employers should not request proof of Salvadoran citizenship. 
Employers presented with an EAD that this Federal Register notice has 
extended automatically and that appears to be genuine and to relate to 
the employee should accept the document as a valid ``List A'' document 
and should not ask for additional Form I-9 documentation. This action 
by the Attorney General through this Federal Register notice does not 
affect the right of an employee to present any legally acceptable 
document as proof of identity and eligibility for employment.

[[Page 46003]]

    Employers are reminded that the laws prohibiting unfair 
immigration-related employment practices remain in full force. For 
questions, employers may call the Service's Office of Business Liaison 
Employer Hotline at 1-800-357-2099 to speak to a Service 
representative. Also, employers may call the Office of Special Counsel 
for Immigration Related Unfair Employment Practices (OSC) Employer 
Hotline at 1-800-255-8155, or 1-800-362-2735 (TDD). Employees or 
applicants may call the OSC Employee Hotline at 1-800-255-7688, or 1-
800-237-2515 (TDD) for information regarding the automatic extension. 
Additional information is available on the OSC Web site at http://
www.usdoj.gov/crt/osc/index.html.

Notice of Extension of Designation of El Salvador 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 El Salvador for TPS continue to 
be met. 8 U.S.C. 1254a(b)(3)(A). Accordingly, I order as follows:
    (1) The designation of El Salvador under section 244(b)(1)(B) of 
the Act is extended for an additional 12-month period from September 9, 
2002, to September 9, 2003. 8 U.S.C. 1254a(b)(3)(C).
    (2) As of June 10, 2002, there are approximately 263,000 nationals 
of El Salvador (or aliens having no nationality who last habitually 
resided in El Salvador) who have applied for TPS and who are eligible 
for re-registration.
    (3) To maintain TPS, a national of El Salvador (or an alien having 
no nationality who last habitually resided in El Salvador) who received 
TPS during the initial designation period must re-register for TPS 
during the 60-day re-registration period from September 9, 2002 until 
November 12, 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 documentation, 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 
documentation 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 September 
9, 2003, the Attorney General will review the designation of El 
Salvador 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).
    (6) TPS-related Employment Authorization Documents that expire on 
September 9, 2002 are extended automatically until March 9, 2003 for 
qualified Salvadorans.
    (7) Information concerning the extension of designation of El 
Salvador under the TPS program will be available at local Service 
offices upon publication of this notice and the Service's National 
Customer Service Center at 1-800-375-5283. This information will also 
be posted on the Service Web site at 
http://www.ins.usdoj.gov.

    Dated: July 8, 2002.
John Ashcroft,
Attorney General.
[FR Doc. 02-17479 Filed 7-8-02; 3:48 pm]
BILLING CODE 4410-10-P




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