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[Federal Register: July 17, 2002 (Volume 67, Number 137)]
[Notices]               
[Page 47002-47004]
From the Federal Register Online via GPO Access [wais.access.gpo.gov]
[DOCID:fr17jy02-107]                         

=======================================================================
-----------------------------------------------------------------------

DEPARTMENT OF JUSTICE

Immigration and Naturalization Service

[INS No. 2209-02; AG Order No. 2598-2002]
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, 2002. This notice 
extends the Attorney General's designation of Montserrat under the TPS 
program for 12 months until August 27, 2003, and sets forth procedures 
necessary for nationals of Montserrat (or aliens having no nationality 
who last habitually resided in Montserrat) with TPS to re-register for 
the additional 12-month period. Re-registration is available only to 
persons who registered during the initial registration period, which 
ended August 27, 1998, or registered after that date under the late 
initial registration provisions, and timely re-registered under each 
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.

EFFECTIVE DATES: The extension of Montserrat's TPS designation is 
effective August 27, 2002, and will remain in effect until August 27, 
2003. The 60-day re-registration period begins July 17, 2002, and will 
remain in effect until September 16, 2002.

FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: Emily Crowder Frazelle, Program 
Analyst, Residence and Status Services Branch, Adjudications, 
Immigration and Naturalization Service, Room 3040, 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 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 
Montserrat?

    On August 28, 1997, the Attorney General designated Montserrat 
under the TPS program for a period of 12 months due to volcanic 
eruptions that affected the entire island and its residents. 62 FR 
45685. The Attorney General has extended Montserrat's TPS designation 
four times, determining each time that the conditions warranting such 
designation continued to be met. See 66 FR 40834 (August 3, 2001); 65 
FR 58806 (October 2, 2000); 64 FR 48190 (September 2, 1999); 63 FR 
45864 (August 27, 1998).
    Since the date of the last extension, the Departments of Justice 
and State have continued to review conditions in Montserrat. A 12-month 
extension is warranted due to the threat of further volcanic eruptions, 
the ongoing housing shortage, and the serious health risks from 
hazardous volcanic ash.

[[Page 47003]]

    Citing the Montserrat Volcano Observatory's March 2002 Hazard 
Assessment, the Department of State reports that a significant risk of 
a new eruption exists in the near future caused by the sustained growth 
of the lava dome of the Soufriere Hills volcano. Recommendation for the 
Extension of TPS (April 24, 2002). Such continuous dome growth has 
increased the hazards of pyroclastic flows, explosions, volcanic 
mudflow, and fall of ash and small stones. Id. The Department of 
Justice reports that the volcano spews hundreds of tons of sulphur 
dioxide daily, as well as produces numerous rockfalls and flows of 
super-heated rocks, ash, and gas. The Immigration and Naturalization 
Service (INS) Resource Information Center (March 2002). Furthermore, 
scientists monitoring the volcano have issued a bulletin warning that 
the volcano remains deadly. Id.
    The Department of State further notes that emergency measures 
remain in place in Montserrat, the airport remains closed without a 
functioning airstrip, and a housing shortage persists. Recommendation 
for Extension of TPS. In addition to destruction caused by the 
volcano's eruptions in 1997 and 2000, volcanic ash covers much of the 
island, posing serious health risks to those who inhale the airborne 
cristobalite contained in the ash. Id. Such reports demonstrate that 
the volcano eruptions that led to the initial designation of TPS for 
Montserrat continue to cause health risks as well as create problems 
with the reconstruction of the island's airport.
    Based on this review, the Attorney General, after consultation with 
appropriate government agencies, finds that the conditions that 
warranted 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)(i)-(ii). 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 Through the Montserrat TPS Program, Do I Still 
Re-register for TPS?

    Yes. If you already have been granted TPS through the Montserrat 
TPS program, your status will expire on August 27, 2002. Accordingly, 
you must re-register for TPS in order to maintain your status through 
August 27, 2003. See the following re-registration instructions.

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

    Persons previously granted TPS under the Montserrat 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 
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 do not pay the fifty dollar ($50) fingerprint fee. Children 
beneficiaries of TPS who have reached the age of fourteen (14) but 
previously were not 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 INS 
district office that has jurisdiction over your place of residence 
during the 60-day re-registration period that begins July 17, 2002, and 
will remain in effect until September 16, 2002 (inclusive of such end 
date).

------------------------------------------------------------------------
                   If                                  Then
------------------------------------------------------------------------
You are applying for employment          You must complete and file Form
 authorization through August 27, 2003.   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 filing 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
 waiver.                                  (2) 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 Montserrat (or alien 
having no nationality who last habitually resided in Montserrat) who 
otherwise is eligible for TPS and has applied for, or plans to apply 
for, asylum but who has not 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 
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 Apply for TPS?

    No. This is a notice of an extension of the TPS designation for 
Montserrat, not a notice of re-designation of Montserrat 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, nationals of Montserrat (or aliens having no 
nationality who last habitually resided in Montserrat) must have 
resided continuously in the United States since August 22, 1997, and 
have been continuously physically present in the United States since 
August 28, 1997.

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 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 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

[[Page 47004]]

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 above described conditions. 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), (b)(3)(A), and (b)(3)(C) of the Act, I have consulted 
with the appropriate government agencies and 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, 2002, to 
August 27, 2003. 8 U.S.C. 1254a(b)(3)(C).
    (2) There are approximately 327 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 re-registration.
    (3) To maintain TPS, a national of Montserrat (or an alien having 
no nationality who last habitually resided in Montserrat) who received 
TPS during the initial designation period must re-register for TPS 
during the 60-day re-registration period from July 17, 2002 until 
September 16, 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 any 
fee. The fifty-dollar ($50) fingerprint fee is required only for 
children beneficiaries of TPS who have reached the age of 14 but 
previously were not fingerprinted. Failure to re-register without good 
cause will result in the withdrawal of TPS. 8 CFR 244.17(c). Some 
persons who previously had not 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 August 27, 
2003, 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).
    (6) Information concerning the extension of designation of 
Montserrat 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 published on 
the INS Website at http://www.ins.usdoj.gov.

    Dated: July 11, 2002.
John Ashcroft,
Attorney General.
[FR Doc. 02-18040 Filed 7-16-02; 8:45 am]
BILLING CODE 4410-10-P






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