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

[Federal Register: September 3, 2003 (Volume 68, Number 170)]
[Notices]               
[Page 52405-52407]
From the Federal Register Online via GPO Access [wais.access.gpo.gov]
[DOCID:fr03se03-56]                         

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

DEPARTMENT OF HOMELAND SECURITY

Bureau of Citizenship and Immigration Services

[CIS No. 2292-03]
RIN 1650-AB06

 
Extension of the Designation of Burundi Under Temporary Protected 
Status Program

AGENCY: Bureau of Citizenship and Immigration Services, Homeland 
Security.

ACTION: Notice.

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

SUMMARY: The designation of Burundi under the Temporary Protected 
Status (TPS) Program will expire on November 2, 2003. This notice 
extends the Secretary of Homeland Security's designation of Burundi for 
12 months until November 2, 2004, and sets forth procedures necessary 
for nationals of Burundi (or aliens having no nationality who last 
habitually resided in Burundi) with TPS to re-register and to apply for 
an extension of their employment authorization documentation for the 
additional 12-month period. Re-registration is limited to persons who 
registered no later than November 3, 1998 under the initial designation 
and also timely re-registered under each subsequent extension of the 
designation, or who registered under the re-designation no later than 
November 2, 2000 and also timely re-registered under the extension of 
the re-designation. Certain nationals of Burundi (or aliens having no 
nationality who last habitually resided in Burundi) who previously have 
not applied for TPS may be eligible to apply under the late initial 
registration provisions.

EFFECTIVE DATES: The extension of Burundi's TPS designation is 
effective November 2, 2003, and will remain in effect until November 2, 
2004. The 60-day re-registration period begins September 3, 2003 and 
will remain in effect until November 3, 2003.

FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: Jonathan Mills, Residence and Status 
Services, Office of Programs and Regulations, Bureau of Citizenship and 
Immigration Services, Department of Homeland Security, 425 ``I'' 
Street, NW., Room 3040, Washington, DC 20536, telephone (202) 514-4754.

SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

What Authority Does the Secretary of the Department of Homeland 
Security Have To Extend the Designation of Burundi Under the TPS 
Program?

    On March 1, 2003, the functions of the Immigration and 
Naturalization Service (Service) transferred from the Department of 
Justice to the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) pursuant to the 
Homeland Security Act of 2002, Pub. L. 107-296. The responsibilities 
for administering the TPS program held by the Service were transferred 
to the Bureau of Citizenship and Immigration Services (BCIS).
    Under section 244 of the Immigration and Nationality Act (Act), 8 
U.S.C. 1254a, the Secretary of DHS, after consultation with appropriate 
agencies of the Government, is authorized to designate a foreign state 
or (part thereof) for TPS. The Secretary of DHS 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 Secretary of DHS to 
review, at least 60 days before the end of the TPS designation or any 
extension thereof, the conditions in a foreign state designated under 
the TPS program to determine whether the conditions for a TPS 
designation continue to be met and, if so, the length of an extension 
of TPS. 8 U.S.C. 1254a(b)(3)(A). If the Secretary of DHS determines 
that the foreign state no longer meets the conditions for TPS 
designation, he shall terminate the designation, as provided in section 
244(b)(3)(B) of the Act. 8 U.S.C. 1254a(b)(3)(B). Finally, if the 
Secretary of DHS does not determine that a foreign state (or part 
thereof) no longer meets the conditions for designation at least 60 
days before the designation or extension is due to expire, section 
244(b)(3)(C) of the Act provides for an automatic extension of TPS for 
an additional period of 6 months (or, in the discretion of the 
Secretary of DHS, a period of 12 or 18 months). 8 U.S.C. 
1254a(b)(3)(C).

Why Did the Secretary of DHS Decide To Extend the TPS Designation for 
Burundi?

    On November 4, 1997, the Attorney General published a notice in the 
Federal Register designating Burundi under the TPS program based upon 
ongoing armed conflict occurring within the country. 62 FR 59735. The 
Attorney General extended this TPS designation annually and re-
designated Burundi by publishing a notice on November 9, 1999, 
determining in each instance that the conditions warranting such 
designation continued to be met. 64 FR 61123.
    Since the date of the last extension, the Departments of Homeland 
Security and State have continued to review conditions in Burundi. It 
is determined that a 12-month extension is warranted due to ongoing 
armed conflict within Burundi that would pose a serious threat to the 
personal safety of returning nationals of Burundi (or aliens having no 
nationality who last habitually resided in Burundi). 8 U.S.C. 
1254a(b)(1)(A).
    The BCIS Resource Information Center (RIC) notes that, although 
there have been important advances in the Burundi peace process, 
fighting between the government and rebel forces has intensified. RIC 
Report (June 26, 2003). Both sides are still committing serious human 
rights violations. Id. The humanitarian situation remains dire. Id.
    Burundi has seen some progress. Id. The transitional government of 
Burundi and two of the three main rebel forces signed ceasefire 
agreements in December 2002. Id. In addition, there has been some 
headway in implementing the Burundian peace accords. Id. Cooperation 
between the major Hutu and Tutsi political parties has improved, laws 
have been enacted to address past human rights violations and prevent 
future abuses, and civil service and provincial administration

[[Page 52406]]

reforms have been initiated. Id. Most significantly, there was a smooth 
transition of power in May 2003 from a Tutsi to a Hutu president to 
lead the second half of the three-year transitional power-sharing 
government set forth in the peace accords. Id.
    The Department of State (DOS) notes that, despite these advances, 
the December 2002 ceasefire has been largely ignored. DOS 
Recommendation (June 19, 2003). The conflict between the government 
forces and rebel groups continues unabated in many areas of the 
country. Id. Rebel attacks on the military are followed by army 
reprisals against civilians suspected of cooperating with the 
insurgents. Id. Rebels reportedly often kill persons for suspected 
collaboration with the government and for their refusal to pay 
``taxes'' to the rebels. Id.
    The prospects for a sustained halt to the armed conflict are 
uncertain. Id. While the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees 
(UNHCR) is currently facilitating voluntary repatriations to the 
northern provinces of Burundi, much of the country remains unsafe for 
repatriation. Id. UNHCR has yet to begin facilitated returns to the 
southern and central provinces of Burundi because those regions have 
not yet been deemed secure. Id.
    Based upon this review, the Secretary of DHS, after consultation 
with appropriate government agencies, finds that the conditions that 
prompted designation of Burundi under the TPS program continue to be 
met. 8 U.S.C. 1254a(b)(3)(A). There is an ongoing armed conflict within 
Burundi and, due to such conflict, requiring the return of aliens who 
are nationals of Burundi (or aliens having no nationality who last 
habitually resided in Burundi) would pose a serious threat to their 
personal safety. 8 U.S.C. 1254a(b)(1). On the basis of these findings, 
the Secretary of DHS concludes that the TPS designation for Burundi 
should be extended for an additional 12-month period. 8 U.S.C. 
1254a(b)(3)(C).

If I Currently Have TPS Through the Burundi TPS Program, Do I Still Re-
register for TPS?

    Yes. If you already have received TPS benefits through the Burundi 
TPS program, your benefits will expire on November 2, 2003. 
Accordingly, individual TPS beneficiaries must comply with the re-
registration requirements described below in order to maintain their 
TPS benefits through November 2, 2004. TPS benefits include temporary 
protection against removal from the United States, as well as 
employment authorization, during the TPS designation period and any 
extension thereof. 8 U.S.C. 1254a(a)(1).

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

    All persons previously granted TPS under the Burundi 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 Form I-765. Applicants 
for an extension of TPS benefits do not need to be re-fingerprinted and 
thus need not pay the $50 fingerprint fee. Children 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.
    An application submitted without the required fee and/or photos 
will be returned to the applicant. Submit the completed forms and 
applicable fee, if any, to the BCIS District Office having jurisdiction 
over your place of residence during the 60-day re-registration period 
that begins September 3, 2003 and ends November 3, 2003.

------------------------------------------------------------------------
                   If                                  Then
------------------------------------------------------------------------
You are applying for employment          You must complete and file the
 authorization until November 2, 2004.    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.\1\
 employment authorization.
You are applying for employment          You must complete and file: 1)
 authorization and are requesting a fee   Form I-765 and 2) a fee waiver
 waiver.                                  request and affidavit (and any
                                          other information) in
                                          accordance with 8 CFR 244.20.
------------------------------------------------------------------------
\1\ An applicant who does not seek employment authorization
  documentation does not need to submit the $120 fee, but must still
  complete and submit Form I-765 for data gathering purposes.

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. Denial of an application for asylum or 
any other immigration benefit does not affect an applicant's TPS 
eligibility, 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)(A)(ii); 8 U.S.C. 1254a(c)(2)(B)(ii).

Does This Extension Allow Nationals of Burundi (or Aliens Having No 
Nationality Who Last Habitually Resided in Burundi) Who Entered the 
United States After November 9, 1999, To File for TPS?

    No. This is a notice of an extension of TPS, not a notice of re-
designation of Burundi 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 do not meet the current eligibility 
requirements for Burundi. To be eligible for benefits under this 
extension, nationals of Burundi (or aliens having no nationality who 
last habitually resided in Burundi) must have been continuously 
physically present and continuously resided in the United States since 
November 9, 1999.

What Is Late Initial Registration?

    Some persons may be eligible for late initial registration under 8 
U.S.C. 1254a(c)(1)(A) and 8 CFR 244.2(f)(2). To apply for late initial 
registration an applicant must:
    (1) Be a national of Burundi (or alien who has no nationality and 
who last habitually resided in Burundi);
    (2) Have been continuously physically present in the United States 
since November 9, 1999;
    (3) Have continuously resided in the United States since November 
9, 1999; and

[[Page 52407]]

    (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 for the initial designation (from November 4, 
1997 to November 3, 1998), or during the registration period for the 
redesignation (from November 9, 1999 to November 2, 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.
    An applicant for late initial registration must file an application 
for late registration no later than 60 days after the expiration or 
termination of the conditions described above. 8 CFR 244.2(g).

What Happens When This Extension of TPS Expires on November 2, 2004?

    At least 60 days before this extension of TPS expires on November 
2, 2004, the Secretary of DHS will review conditions in Burundi and 
determine whether the conditions for designation under the TPS program 
continue to be met at that time, or whether the TPS designation should 
be terminated. Notice of that determination, including the basis for 
the determination, will be published in the Federal Register.
    If the TPS designation is extended at that time, an alien who has 
received TPS benefits must re-register under the extension in order to 
maintain TPS benefits. If, however, the Secretary of DHS terminates the 
TPS designation, TPS beneficiaries will maintain the immigration status 
they had before TPS (unless that status had since expired or been 
terminated) or any other status they may have acquired while registered 
for TPS. Accordingly, if an alien had no lawful immigration status 
prior to receiving TPS and did not obtain any status during the TPS 
period, he or she will revert to that unlawful status upon termination 
of the TPS designation.

Notice of Extension of Designation of Burundi Under the TPS Program

    By the authority vested in me as Secretary of DHS under sections 
244(b)(1)(A), (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 Burundi for TPS continue to be 
met. 8 U.S.C. 1254a(b)(3)(A). Accordingly, I order as follows:
    (1) The designation of Burundi under section 244(b)(1)(A) of the 
Act is extended for an additional 12-month period from November 2, 
2003, to November 2, 2004. 8 U.S.C. 1254a(b)(3)(C).
    (2) There are approximately 30 nationals of Burundi (or aliens 
having no nationality who last habitually resided in Burundi) who have 
been granted TPS and who are eligible for re-registration.
    (3) To maintain TPS, a national of Burundi (or an alien having no 
nationality who last habitually resided in Burundi) who was granted TPS 
during the initial designation period or redesignation period must re-
register for TPS during the 60-day re-registration period from 
September 3, 2003 until November 3, 2003.
    (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). Applications submitted 
without the required fee and/or photos will be returned to the 
applicant. There is no fee for filing a Form I-821 for 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 November 
2, 2004, the Secretary will review the designation of Burundi 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 Burundi 
under the TPS program will be available at local BCIS offices upon 
publication of this notice and on the BCIS Web site at http://www.bcis.gov
.

    Dated: August 28, 2003.
Tom Ridge,
Secretary of Homeland Security.
[FR Doc. 03-22508 Filed 8-29-03; 12:00 pm]
BILLING CODE 4410-10-P




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