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

[Federal Register: January 27, 2003 (Volume 68, Number 17)]
[Notices]               
[Page 3896-3897]
From the Federal Register Online via GPO Access [wais.access.gpo.gov]
[DOCID:fr27ja03-89]                         


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


DEPARTMENT OF JUSTICE


Immigration and Naturalization Service


[INS No. 2229-02; AG Order No. 2651-2003]
RIN 1115--AE26


 
Termination of Designation of Angola Under the Temporary 
Protected Status Program


AGENCY: Immigration and Naturalization Service, Justice.


ACTION: Notice.


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


SUMMARY: The Attorney General's most recent designation of Angola under 
the Temporary Protected Status program (TPS) expires on March 29, 2003. 
After reviewing country conditions and consulting with the appropriate 
Government agencies, the Attorney General has determined that 
conditions in Angola no longer support a TPS designation. Accordingly, 
the designation of Angola for TPS is terminated effective March 29, 
2003. After that date, aliens who are nationals of Angola (and aliens 
having no nationality who last habitually resided in Angola) who have 
had TPS under the Angola program will no longer have such status. This 
notice contains information regarding the termination of the TPS 
designation for Angola.


DATES: The termination of the TPS designation for Angola is effective 
March 29, 2003.


FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: Naheed A. Qureshi, Office of 
Adjudications, Residence and Status Branch, Immigration and 
Naturalization Service, Room 3040, 425 I Street, NW., Washington, DC 
20536, telephone (202) 514-4754.


SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:


What Is the Statutory Authority for the Designation and Termination of 
TPS?


    Under section 244 of the Immigration and Nationality Act (INA or 
``the Act''), 8 U.S.C. 1254a, the Attorney General is authorized to 
designate a foreign state (or part of a state) for TPS. The Attorney 
General may then grant TPS to eligible nationals of that foreign state 
(or aliens having no nationality who last habitually resided in that 
state). Section 244(b)(3)(A) of the Act requires the Attorney General 
to review, at least 60 days before the end of the TPS designation, the 
conditions in a foreign state designated under section 244(b)(1) of the 
Act. 8 U.S.C. 1254a(b)(3)(A).
    Section 244(b)(3) of the Act further requires the Attorney General 
to determine whether the conditions for such a designation continue to 
be met, and to terminate the state's designation when the Attorney 
General determines conditions are no longer met. 8 U.S.C. 
1254a(b)(3)(B). The Attorney General must then publish a notice of 
termination in the Federal Register.


Why Did the Attorney General Decide To Terminate TPS for Angola?


    On March 29, 2000, the Attorney General published a notice in the 
Federal Register at 65 FR 16634 designating Angola for TPS for a period 
of one year, based upon conditions in Angola at that time. That TPS 
designation was extended twice and is scheduled to expire on March 29, 
2003. See 66 FR 18111 (April 5, 2001 (extension and redesignation); 67 
FR 4997 (Feb. 1, 2002) (extension). Based upon a recent review of 
conditions within Angola by the Departments of Justice and State, the 
Attorney General finds that conditions in Angola no longer support a 
TPS designation.
    A recent Department of State report indicates that the National 
Union for the Total Independence of Angola (UNITA) and the Government 
of Angola were able to recommit to the Lusaka Peace Process following 
the February 2002 death of rebel leader Jonas Savimbi. Department of 
State Report (Nov. 13, 2002). The Resource Information Center (RIC) of 
the Immigration and Naturalization Service (INS/Service) observed that 
``[t]he peace accords ended the 27-year battle between the UNITA forces 
and the Angolan ruling party.'' RIC Report (Nov. 29, 2002). The peace 
agreement committed the parties to continued discussions regarding 
future elections and a power sharing approach to governance. Since the 
peace accord was signed, fighting has ceased and 84,000 UNITA 
combatants have been disarmed and decommissioned, effectively 
dismantling UNITA's military capability. Department of State Report. 
The United Nations estimates that approximately 5,000 of the 
demobilized soldiers have joined the Angolan government forces, while 
approximately 80,000 have reunited with their families in reception 
centers. RIC Report.
    A separate insurgency led by the separatist guerrilla forces of the 
Front for the Liberation of the Enclave of Cabinda/Armed Forces of 
Cabinda (FLEC/FAC) continues in the northern province of Cabinda, and 
the Angolan Armed Forces has increased its military campaign against 
rebels in this area. Given the geographic isolation of Cabinda from the 
rest of Angola, however, the Department of State concludes that 
conditions in that province do not impact Angolans elsewhere. 
Department of State Report.
    The Department of State report notes that in addition to the 
humanitarian needs of 380,000 UNITA members and their families, the 
Government of Angola faces the challenge of assisting an estimated 4 
million displaced Angolan nationals. The RIC Report expresses concern 
that Angola lacks housing, medical services, water systems, and other 
basic services destroyed by a 27-year-long war.
    There are as many as 8 million landmines planted in Angolan soil. 
Department of State Report. At least 10 provinces, accounting for 40 
percent of Angola's countryside, are heavily mined, rendering large 
areas of arable land and pasture unfit for use. RIC Report. 
Nevertheless, the Department of State concludes that the risks 
associated with existing landmines are not sufficient to potential 
returnees to warrant an extension of TPS.
    Despite these challenging circumstances, the United Nations High 
Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR)


[[Page 3897]]


estimates that 70,000 refugees and 860,000 internally displaced persons 
have spontaneously returned to their home areas since February 2002. 
Department of State Report. In the spring of 2003, UNHCR intends to 
begin the organized repatriation of 470,000 refugees from Zambia, the 
Democratic Republic of Congo and Namibia. Id. The Government of Angola 
continues to work with the international community to return 4 million 
internally displaced persons to their homes in Angola.
    Based on these findings, the Attorney General has determined that 
conditions warranting TPS designation no longer exist, and that the TPS 
designation for Angola must be terminated. Section 244(b)(3)(B) of the 
Act provides that the Attorney General ``shall'' terminate a 
designation if he determines that Angola ``no longer continues to meet 
the conditions for designation * * *'' A statutory condition common to 
designations under paragraphs (A) and (C) of section 244(b)(1) of the 
Act is a threat to the personal safety of potential returnees. Whether 
the precipitating condition is an ``ongoing armed conflict,'' INA Sec.  
244(b)(1)(A), or other ``extraordinary and temporary conditions,'' INA 
Sec.  244(b)(1)(C), this shared condition--threat to returnees' 
safety--must ``continue to be met'' or the Attorney General ``shall'' 
terminate the designation. INA Sec. Sec.  244(b)(3)(A), (B). The 
disarmament, demobilization, and ongoing reintegration of ex-
combatants, the formal end to war, and the discussions regarding 
planned elections are all positive developments and an indication that 
internal armed conflict no longer threatens returning Angolans. 
Furthermore, efforts by the United Nations and non-governmental 
organizations to resettle Angolan citizens signify the improvement of 
humanitarian and socioeconomic conditions in Angola. For the foregoing 
reasons, the Attorney General determines that Angolan TPS beneficiaries 
may return safely to Angola at this time and, therefore, terminates the 
TPS designation for Angola.


What May I Do if I Believe That My Return to Angola Is Unsafe?


    This notice terminates the designation of Angola for TPS. There may 
be avenues of immigration relief and protection available to aliens who 
are nationals of Angola (and aliens having no nationality who last 
habitually resided in Angola) in the United States who believe that 
their particular circumstances make return to Angola unsafe. Such 
avenues may include, but are not limited to, asylum, withholding of 
removal, or protection under Article 3 of the Torture Convention.


How Does the Termination of TPS Affect Former TPS Beneficiaries?


    After the designation of Angola for TPS is terminated on March 29, 
2003, former TPS beneficiaries will maintain the same immigration 
status they held prior to TPS (unless that status has since expired or 
been terminated) or any other status they may have acquired while 
registered for TPS. Accordingly, if an alien held no lawful immigration 
status prior to receiving TPS benefits and did not obtain any other 
status during the TPS period, he or she will maintain that unlawful 
status upon the termination of the TPS designation.
    Former TPS beneficiaries will no longer be eligible for a stay of 
removal or a work authorization document pursuant to the TPS program. 
TPS-related work authorization documents expire on March 29, 2003, and 
will not be renewed.
    Termination of the TPS designation for Angola does not necessarily 
affect pending applications for other forms of immigration relief or 
protection, though former TPS beneficiaries will begin to accrue 
unlawful presence as of March 29, 2003, if they have not been granted 
any other immigration status or protection or if they have no pending 
application for certain benefits.


Notice of Termination of Designation of Angola Under the TPS Program


    By the authority vested in me as Attorney General under section 
244(b)(3) of the Act, I have consulted with the appropriate agencies of 
government concerning conditions in Angola. 8 U.S.C. 1254a(b)(3). Based 
on these consultations, I have determined that Angola no longer meets 
the conditions for designation of TPS under section 244(b)(1) of the 
Act. See 8 U.S.C. 1254a(b)(1).
    Accordingly, I order as follows:
    (1) The designation of Angola for TPS under section 244(b) of the 
Act is terminated effective March 29, 2003.
    (2) I estimate that there are approximately 316 nationals of Angola 
(and aliens having no nationality who last habitually resided in 
Angola) who currently receive TPS benefits.
    (3) Information concerning the termination of the TPS program for 
nationals of Angola (and aliens having no nationality who last 
habitually resided in Angola) will be available at local Service 
offices upon publication of this notice and through 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: January 23, 2003.
John Ashcroft,
Attorney General.
[FR Doc. 03-1994 Filed 1-24-03; 8:45 am]
BILLING CODE 4410-10-P





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