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[Federal Register: October 7, 2004 (Volume 69, Number 194)]
[Notices]               
[Page 60165-60168]
From the Federal Register Online via GPO Access [wais.access.gpo.gov]
[DOCID:fr07oc04-50]                         

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

DEPARTMENT OF HOMELAND SECURITY

Bureau of Citizenship and Immigration Services

[CIS No. 2325-04]

 
Extension of the Designation of Temporary Protected Status for 
Burundi

AGENCY: Bureau of Citizenship and Immigration Services, DHS.

ACTION: Notice.

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

SUMMARY: The Temporary Protected Status (TPS) designation for Burundi 
will expire on November 2, 2004. This notice extends the Secretary of 
Homeland Security's designation of Burundi for 12 months, until 
November 2, 2005, 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 under the 
initial designation

[[Page 60166]]

(which was announced on November 4, 1997) and also timely re-registered 
under each subsequent extension of the designation; or who registered 
under the re-designation (which was announced on November 9, 1999) and 
also timely re-registered under each 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, 2004, and will remain in effect until November 2, 
2005. The 60-day re-registration period begins October 7, 2004 and will 
remain in effect until December 6, 2004.

FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: Colleen Cook, Residence and Status 
Services, Office of Programs and Regulations Development, Bureau of 
Citizenship and Immigration Services, Department of Homeland Security, 
425 I Street, NW., Ullico Building, 3rd Floor, Washington, DC 20529, 
telephone (202) 514-4754.

SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

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

    On March 1, 2003, the functions of the Immigration and 
Naturalization Service (Service) transferred from the Department of 
Justice (DOJ) to the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) pursuant to 
the Homeland Security Act of 2002, Public Law 107-296. The 
responsibilities for administering TPS 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. 8 U.S.C. 1254a(b)(1). 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). 8 U.S.C. 1254a(a)(1).
    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 for TPS 
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 at 62 FR 59735 designating TPS for Burundi finding 
that an ongoing armed conflict, and temporary and extraordinary 
conditions resulting from such conflict, warranted TPS for Burundi. The 
Attorney General extended the initial designation of TPS for Burundi by 
notice published in the Federal Register on November 3, 1998 at 63 FR 
59334. The Attorney General extended and re-designated TPS for Burundi 
by notice published in the Federal Register on November 9, 1999 at 64 
FR 61123, finding that the ongoing armed conflict, and temporary and 
extraordinary conditions resulting from such conflict, continued to 
warrant TPS for Burundi. The re-designation of TPS for Burundi 
subsequently was extended by the Attorney General three times by 
Federal Register notice (65 FR 67404; 66 FR 46027; 67 FR 55875).
    The Secretary of DHS published a 12-month extension of TPS for 
Burundi in the Federal Register on September 3, 2003 at 68 FR 52405. 
This extension expires on November 2, 2004.
    Since the date of the most recent extension, DHS and the Department 
of State (DOS) have continued to review conditions in Burundi. Although 
some progress has been made in the peace process, the Secretary of DHS 
has determined that a 12-month extension of TPS is warranted because 
both the armed conflict and extraordinary and temporary conditions that 
prompted designation persist. Further, the Secretary finds that it is 
not contrary to the national interest of the United States to permit 
nationals of Burundi (or aliens having no nationality who last 
habitually resided in Burundi) who otherwise qualify for TPS to remain 
temporarily in the United States. 8 U.S.C. 1254a(b)(1)(C).
    DOS observes that progress in building a long-term peace has been 
slower than expected. (DOS Recommendation (June 30, 2004)). One rebel 
group, the Party for the Liberation of the Hutu People-Forces for 
National Liberation (PALIPEHUTU-FNL), remains outside of the peace 
process. (BCIS Resource Information Center Report (June 29, 2004) 
(hereinafter RIC Report (June 29, 2004)). Fighting between the armed 
forces of Burundi and the PALIPEHUTU-FNL, as well as between the 
PALIPEHUTU-FNL and the largest former rebel group, the National Council 
for the Defense of Democracy-Forces for the Defense of Democracy (CNDD-
FDD), continues in Bujumbura Rural, the region surrounding the capital. 
Id.
    The transitional period set forth under the Arusha Peace and 
Reconciliation Agreement signed August 28, 2000, is coming to an end in 
late 2004. The demobilization of armed groups, not including the 3,000-
strong PALIPEHUTU-FNL, is in its early stages at 11 cantonment sites 
throughout the country. Id. The World Bank estimates that there are 
some 55,000 combatants to be demobilized. (DOS Recommendation (June 30, 
2004)). In May 2004, the United Nations Security Council authorized the 
United Nations Operation in Burundi (ONUB). ONUB was deployed in June 
2004 and is tasked, in part, with helping create the security 
conditions for the provision of humanitarian assistance, and to carry 
out the disarmament and demobilization portions of the national 
Disarmament, Demobilization and Reintegration Programs. Id.
    The armed conflict has displaced 140,000-280,000 persons within 
Burundi and an estimated 800,000 outside Burundi. (DOS Recommendation 
(June 30,2004); RIC Report (June 29, 2004)). Another 100,000 Burundians 
are temporarily displaced each month. (RIC Report (June 29, 2004)).
    In spite of the reduction of armed conflict, there continue to be 
reports of human rights violations by all parties to the conflict. Id. 
An estimated 250,000-300,000 people have been killed in the conflict in 
Burundi since 1993. Id. Nearly 14 percent of the population (965,000 
people) is in need of emergency food and agricultural assistance. Id. 
The number of people living below the poverty line doubled from 33 
percent in 1990 to 67 percent in 2003. Id.
    Based upon this review, the Secretary of DHS, after consultation 
with

[[Page 60167]]

appropriate government agencies, finds that the conditions that 
prompted TPS designation for Burundi continue to be met. 8 U.S.C. 
1254a(b)(3)(A). The armed conflict is ongoing and there are 
extraordinary and temporary conditions in Burundi such that it is not 
safe to return nationals of Burundi (or aliens having no nationality 
who last habitually resided in Burundi) if these aliens meet the 
statutory and regulatory requirements for TPS. 8 U.S.C. 1254a(b)(1)(A), 
(C). The Secretary of DHS also finds that permitting nationals of 
Burundi (or aliens having no nationality who last habitually resided in 
Burundi) who are eligible for TPS to remain temporarily in the United 
States is not contrary to the national interest of the United States. 8 
U.S.C. 1254a(b)(1)(C). 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 Designation, Do I Still 
Re-register for TPS?

    Yes. If you already have received TPS benefits through the Burundi 
TPS designation, your benefits will expire on November 2, 2004. 
Accordingly, individual TPS beneficiaries must comply with the re-
registration requirements described below in order to maintain TPS 
benefits through November 2, 2005. 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 designation 
who wish to maintain such status must apply for an extension by filing 
the following: (1) Form I-821, Application for Temporary Protected 
Status, without the filing fee; (2) Form I-765, Application for 
Employment Authorization; (3) two identification photographs (full face 
frontal 2 inches x 2 inches); and (4) a biometrics fee of seventy 
dollars ($70) for each applicant age 14 and older. (See the chart below 
to determine whether you must submit the one hundred and seventy-five 
dollar ($175) filing fee with Form I-765.) All applicants for TPS 
benefits, including those applying for re-registration need to be re-
fingerprinted and thus need to pay the seventy dollar ($70) biometric 
services fee.
    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 October 7, 2004 and ends December 6, 2004. An interim 
employment authorization document will not be issued unless the Form I-
765, as part of the TPS registration package, has been pending with 
BCIS more than 90 days after all requested initial evidence has been 
received, including collection of the applicant's fingerprints at an 
Application Support Center (ASC). See 8 CFR 103.2(b)(10)(ii) and 8 CFR 
274a.13(d).

------------------------------------------------------------------------
                  If:                                 Then:
------------------------------------------------------------------------
You are applying for employment          You must complete and file the
 authorization until November 2, 2005.    Form I-765, Application for
                                          Employment Authorization, with
                                          the $175.
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 $175 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).

Are Certain Aliens Ineligible for TPS?

    Yes. Individuals who do not meet the physical presence and 
continuous residence requirements as explained earlier in this notice 
are ineligible for TPS. In addition, there are certain criminal and 
terrorism related inadmissibility grounds that apply to TPS applicants 
and would render an alien ineligible for TPS. 8 U.S.C. 1254a 
(c)(2)(iii). Further, aliens who have been convicted of a felony, or 
two or more misdemeanors, committed in the United States and aliens who 
are described in the bars to asylum in Section 208 (b)(2)(A) of the 
Act, 8 U.S.C. 1158(b)(2)(A), are ineligible for TPS. 8 U.S.C. 1254a 
(c)(2)(B).

Can I Apply for Another Immigration Benefit While Registered for TPS?

    Yes. Registration for TPS does not prevent you from applying for 
another non-immigrant status or from filing for adjustment of status 
based on an immigrant petition. 8 U.S.C. 1254a(a)(5). TPS alone, 
however, does not lead to adjustment of status. See 8 U.S.C. 1254a(e), 
(f)(1), (h). For the purposes of change of status and adjustment of 
status, an alien is considered as being in, and maintaining, lawful 
status as a nonimmigrant during the period in which the alien is 
granted TPS. 8 U.S.C. 1254a(f)(4).

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 TPS for Burundi. 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 beyond the current TPS eligibility requirements of 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,

[[Page 60168]]

the date of the most recent re-designation of TPS for Burundi.

What Is Late Initial Registration?

    Some persons may be eligible for late initial registration under 8 
U.S.C. 1254a(c)(1)(A), 8 U.S.C. 1254a(c)(2), and 8 CFR 244.2. 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
    (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 
re-designation (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, 2005?

    At least 60 days before this extension of TPS expires on November 
2, 2005, the Secretary of DHS will review conditions in Burundi and 
determine whether the conditions for TPS designation continue to be met 
at that time, or whether the TPS designation should be terminated. 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.

Notice of Extension of Designation of TPS for Burundi

    By the authority vested in DHS under sections 244(b)(1)(A), 
(b)(1)(C), (b)(3)(A), and (b)(3)(C) of the Act, DHS has determined, 
after consultation with the appropriate government agencies, that the 
conditions that prompted designation of Burundi for TPS continue to be 
met. Accordingly, DHS orders as follows:
    (1) The designation of Burundi under sections 244(b)(1)(A) and 
(b)(1)(C) of the Act is extended for an additional 12-month period from 
November 2, 2004, to November 2, 2005. 8 U.S.C. 1254a(b)(3)(C).
    (2) There are approximately 19 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 re-designation period must re-
register for TPS during the 60-day re-registration period from October 
7, 2004 until December 6, 2004.
    (4) To re-register, the applicant must file the following: (1) Form 
I-821, Application for Temporary Protected Status without fee; (2) Form 
I-765, Application for Employment Authorization with fee if work 
authorization is requested; (3) two identification photographs (full 
face frontal 2 inches by 2 inches); and (4) a biometrics fee of seventy 
dollars ($70) for each applicant age 14 and older. Applications 
submitted without the required fee and/or photos will be returned to 
the applicant. If the applicant requests employment authorization, he 
or she must submit one hundred and seventy-five dollars ($175) 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 for filing Form I-765. Failure to 
re-register without good cause will result in the withdrawal of TPS. 8 
U.S.C. 1254a(c)(3)(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, 2005, the Secretary will review the designation of TPS for Burundi 
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. Id.
    (6) Information concerning the extension of designation of Burundi 
for TPS will be available at local BCIS offices upon publication of 
this notice and on the BCIS Web site at http://uscis.gov.


    Dated: September 2, 2004.
Tom Ridge,
Secretary of Homeland Security.
[FR Doc. 04-22706 Filed 10-6-04; 8:45 am]
BILLING CODE 4410-10-P




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