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

[Federal Register: July 26, 2002 (Volume 67, Number 144)]
[Notices]               
[Page 48950-48952]
From the Federal Register Online via GPO Access [wais.access.gpo.gov]
[DOCID:fr26jy02-137]                         

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

DEPARTMENT OF JUSTICE

Immigration and Naturalization Service

[INS No. 2215-02; AG Order No. 2602-2002]
RIN 1115-AE26

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

AGENCY: Immigration and Naturalization Service, Justice.

ACTION: Notice.

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

SUMMARY: The designation of Somalia under the Temporary Protected 
Status (TPS) Program will expire on September 17, 2002. This notice 
extends the Attorney General's designation of Somalia for 12 months 
until September 17, 2003, and sets forth procedures necessary for 
nationals of Somalia (or aliens having no nationality who last 
habitually resided in Somalia) with TPS to re-register for the 
additional 12-month period. Re-registration is limited to persons who 
both registered under the initial designation and also timely re-
registered under each subsequent extension of designation, or who 
registered under the re-designation (which ends September 17, 2002). 
Nationals of Somalia (or aliens having no nationality who last 
habitually resided in Somalia) 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 Somalia is 
effective September 17, 2002, and will remain in effect until September 
17, 2003. The 60-day re-registration period begins July 26, 2002 and 
will remain in effect until September 24, 2002.

FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: Emily Crowder Frazelle, Program 
Analyst, Residence and Status Branch, 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 Somalia 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 Somalia?

    On September 16, 1991, the Attorney General designated Somalia 
under the TPS program (56 FR 46804). Since that time, the Departments 
of Justice and State have continuously reviewed conditions in Somalia, 
most recently extending and re-designating Somalia under the TPS 
program on September 4, 2001 (66 FR 46288).
    A recent Department of State report found that ``[o]pen conflict 
remains a fact of life in southern Somalia, where numerous actors 
compete for land and power. While the two northern regions of Somalia 
are more stable, their security is jeopardized by the instability in 
the south.'' State Department Report (May 16, 2001) (State Department 
Report). There has been no central authority controlling Somalia since 
1991. Immigration and Naturalization Service's (INS) Resource 
Information Center (RIC) Report (May 14, 2002). Although a peace 
process led to the establishment of a Transitional National Government 
(TNG), the ``legitimacy of the transitional administration * * * has 
been strongly contested by several local militias, as well as by the de 
facto governments that pre-date the TNG in the northern part of the 
country. Leaders in Puntland have publicly stated that they do not 
recognize the TNG, while Somaliland has openly sought international 
recognition on its own since 1991. Many TNG officials have been 
threatened or killed; an atmosphere of lawlessness continues.'' State 
Department Report.
    Fighting in the Gedo region in southern Somalia has continued 
throughout 2002. The Department of State reports that ``[f]ighting in 
April result[ed] in a new outflow of an estimated 5,000 refugees into 
Kenya. The use of landmines in the region is also increasing. Hundreds 
of families were displaced in February in this region as a result of 
fighting between the Somali Restoration and Reconciliation Council and 
the Juba Valley Alliance. There is also reporting that Puntland, 
previously considered to be relatively stable, is becoming increasing 
[sic] insecure.'' State Department Report.
    The United Nations Secretary-General reported in February 2002 that 
``Somalia remains one of the most dangerous environments in which the 
United Nations operates,'' and concluded that the conditions do not 
currently exist to re-establish a comprehensive peace-building 
programme in Somalia. Report of the Secretary-General on the situation 
in Somalia (February 21, 2002). Such reports indicate that ongoing, 
armed conflict continues to threaten seriously the personal safety of 
those living and working in Somalia.
    Based on this review, the Attorney General, after consultation with 
appropriate government agencies, finds that the conditions that 
prompted designation of Somalia under the TPS program continue to be 
met. 8 U.S.C. 1254a(b)(3)(A). There is an ongoing armed conflict within 
Somalia and, due to such conflict, requiring the return of aliens who 
are nationals of Somalia (or aliens having no nationality who last 
habitually resided in Somalia) 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 Somalia that prevent 
nationals of Somalia (and aliens having no nationality who last 
habitually resided in Somalia) from returning home in safety. 8 U.S.C. 
1254a(b)(1)(C). Finally, permitting nationals of Somalia to remain 
temporarily in the United States is not contrary to the national 
interest of the United States. Id. On the basis of these findings, the 
Attorney General concludes that the TPS designation for Somalia 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 Somalia TPS Program, 
Do I Still Re-Register for TPS?

    Yes. If you have already have TPS benefits through the Somalia TPS 
program, your benefits will expire on September 17, 2002. Accordingly, 
you must re-register for TPS in order to maintain your benefits through 
September 17, 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).

[[Page 48951]]

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

    All persons previously granted benefits under the Somalia 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 $50 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 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 pay 
the $50 fingerprint fee with the application for extension.
    Submit the completed forms and applicable fee, if any, to the INS 
district office having jurisdiction over your place of residence during 
the 60-day re-registration period that begins on July 26, 2002 and ends 
on September 24, 2002 (inclusive of such end date).

------------------------------------------------------------------------
                   If                                  Then
------------------------------------------------------------------------
You are applying for an Employment       You must complete and file the
 Authorization Document that is valid     Form I-765, Application for
 through September 17, 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)
 Authorization Document and are           Form I-765 with no fee, and
 requesting a fee 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 Somalia (or alien having 
no nationality who last habitually resided in Somalia) 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 eligibility 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 Somalia (or Aliens Having no 
Nationality Who Last Habitually Resided in Somalia) Who Entered the 
United States After September 4, 2001, to Apply for TPS?

    No. This is a notice of an extension of the TPS designation for 
Somalia, not a notice of re-designation of Somalia 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 include 
nationals of Somalia (or aliens having no nationality who last 
habitually resided in Somalia) who have not been continuously 
physically present in, and have not continuously resided in, the United 
States since September 4, 2001.

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 Somalia (or alien who has no nationality and 
who last habitually resided in Somalia);
    (2) Have been continuously physically present in the United States 
since September 4, 2001;
    (3) Have continuously resided in the United States since September 
4, 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 registration period from September 4, 2001, through September 17, 
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).

Notice of Extension of Designation of Somalia 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 Somalia for TPS continue to be met. 8 
U.S.C. 1254a(b)(3)(A). Accordingly, I order as follows:
    (1) The designation of Somalia under section 244(b) of the Act is 
extended for an additional 12-month period from September 17, 2002, to 
September 17, 2003. 8 U.S.C. 1254a(b)(3)(C).
    (2) As of July 12, 2002, there are approximately 250 nationals of 
Somalia (or aliens having no nationality who last habitually resided in 
Somalia) who are eligible for re-registration.
    (3) To maintain TPS, a national of Somalia (or an alien having no 
nationality who last habitually resided in Somalia) who previously has 
applied for or received TPS benefits must re-register for TPS during 
the 60-day re-registration period from July 26, 2002 until September 
24, 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

[[Page 48952]]

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 
17, 2003, the Attorney General will review the designation of Somalia 
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 USC 1254a(b)(3)(A).
    (6) Information concerning the extension of designation of Somalia 
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 
Web site at 
http://www.ins.usdoj.gov.

    Dated: July 19, 2002.
John Ashcroft,
Attorney General.
[FR Doc. 02-18897 Filed 7-25-02; 8:45 am]
BILLING CODE 4410-10-P



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