[Federal Register Volume 75, Number 131 (Friday, July 9, 2010)]
[Notices]
[Pages 39556-39559]
From the Federal Register Online via the Government Printing Office [www.gpo.gov]
[FR Doc No: 2010-16431]


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DEPARTMENT OF HOMELAND SECURITY

U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services

[CIS No. 2489-09; DHS Docket No. USCIS 2010-0032]
RIN 1615-ZA95


Extension of the Designation of El Salvador for Temporary 
Protected Status and Automatic Extension of Employment Authorization 
Documentation for Salvadoran TPS Beneficiaries

AGENCY: U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services, Department of 
Homeland Security (DHS).

ACTION: Notice.

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SUMMARY: This Notice announces that the Secretary of Homeland Security 
has extended the designation of El Salvador for temporary protected 
status (TPS) for 18 months from its current expiration date of 
September 9, 2010, through March 9, 2012. This Notice also sets forth 
procedures necessary for nationals of El Salvador (or aliens having no 
nationality who last habitually resided in El Salvador) with TPS to re-
register and to apply for an extension of their employment 
authorization documents (EADs) with U.S. Citizenship and Immigration 
Services (USCIS). Re-registration is limited to persons who previously 
registered for TPS under the designation of El Salvador and whose 
applications have been granted or remain pending. Certain nationals of 
El Salvador (or aliens having no nationality who last habitually 
resided in El Salvador) who have not previously

[[Page 39557]]

applied for TPS may be eligible to apply under the late initial 
registration provisions.
    New EADs with a March 9, 2012, expiration date will be issued to 
eligible TPS beneficiaries who timely re-register and apply for EADs. 
Given the timeframes involved with processing TPS re-registration 
applications, the Department of Homeland Security recognizes the 
possibility that all re-registrants may not receive new EADs until 
after their current EADs expire on September 9, 2010. Accordingly, this 
Notice automatically extends the validity of EADs issued under the TPS 
designation of El Salvador for 6 months, through March 9, 2011, and 
explains how TPS beneficiaries and their employers may determine which 
EADs are automatically extended.

DATES: The extension of the TPS designation of El Salvador is effective 
September 10, 2010, and will remain in effect through March 9, 2012. 
The 60-day re-registration period begins July 9, 2010, and will remain 
in effect until September 7, 2010.

FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: 
     For further information on TPS, including guidance on the 
application process and additional information on eligibility, please 
visit the USCIS Web site at http://www.uscis.gov. Select ``Temporary 
Protected Status'' from the homepage. You can find detailed information 
about this TPS extension on our Web site at the Salvadoran Questions & 
Answers Section.
     You can also contact the TPS Operations Program Manager, 
Status and Family Branch, Service Center Operations Directorate, U.S. 
Citizenship and Immigration Services, Department of Homeland Security, 
20 Massachusetts Avenue, NW., Washington, DC 20529-2060, telephone 
(202) 272-1533. This is not a toll-free call. Note: The phone number 
provided here is solely for questions regarding this TPS notice. It is 
not for individual case status inquiries. Applicants seeking 
information about the status of their individual cases can check Case 
Status Online available at the USCIS Web site at http://www.uscis.gov, 
or call the USCIS National Customer Service Center at 1-800-375-5283 
(TTY 1-800-767-1833).
     Further information will also be available at local USCIS 
offices upon publication of this Notice.

SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

Abbreviations and Terms Used in This Document

Act--Immigration and Nationality Act
DHS--Department of Homeland Security
DOS--Department of State
EAD--Employment Authorization Document
OSC--U.S. Department of Justice, Office of Special Counsel for 
Immigration Related Unfair Employment Practices
Secretary--Secretary of Homeland Security
TPS--Temporary Protected Status
USAID--U.S. Agency for International Development
USCIS--U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services

What is Temporary Protected Status?

     TPS is an immigration status granted to eligible nationals 
of a country designated for TPS under the Act (or to persons without 
nationality who last habitually resided in the designated country).
     During the period for which the Secretary has designated a 
country for TPS, TPS beneficiaries are eligible to remain in the United 
States and may obtain work authorization, so long as they continue to 
meet the terms and conditions of their TPS status.
     The granting of TPS does not lead to permanent resident 
status.
     When the Secretary terminates a country's TPS designation, 
beneficiaries return to the same immigration status they maintained 
before TPS (unless that status has since expired or been terminated) or 
to any other status they may have obtained while registered for TPS.

What authority does the Secretary of Homeland Security have to extend 
the designation of El Salvador for TPS?

    Section 244(b)(1) of the Immigration and Nationality Act (the Act), 
8 U.S.C. 1254a(b)(1), authorizes the Secretary, after consultation with 
appropriate agencies of the government, to designate a foreign State 
(or part thereof) for TPS.\1\ The Secretary 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(a)(1)(A) of the Act, 8 U.S.C. 1254a(a)(1)(A).
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    \1\ As of March 1, 2003, in accordance with section 1517 of 
title XV of the Homeland Security Act of 2002 (HSA), Public Law 107-
296, 116 Stat. 2135, any reference to the Attorney General in a 
provision of the Immigration and Nationality Act describing 
functions transferred under the HSA from the Department of Justice 
to the Department of Homeland Security ``shall be deemed to refer to 
the Secretary'' of Homeland Security. See 6 U.S.C. 557 (2003) 
(codifying HSA, tit. XV, sec. 1517).
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    At least 60 days before expiration of the TPS designation, the 
Secretary, after consultation with appropriate agencies of the 
government, must review the conditions in a foreign State designated 
for TPS to determine whether the conditions for the TPS designation 
continue to be met and, if so, must determine the length of an 
extension of the TPS designation. Section 244(b)(3)(A), (C) of the Act, 
8 U.S.C. 1254a(b)(3)(A), (C). If the Secretary determines that the 
foreign State no longer meets the conditions for the TPS designation, 
the Secretary must terminate the designation. Section 244(b)(3)(B) of 
the Act, 8 U.S.C. 1254a(b)(3)(B).

When was El Salvador designated for TPS?

    On March 9, 2001, the Attorney General designated El Salvador for 
TPS based on an environmental disaster within that country, 
specifically a series of earthquakes that occurred in 2001. 66 FR 
14214. See section 244(a)(b)(1)(B) of the Act, 8 U.S.C. 1254a(b)(1)(B). 
The last extension of TPS for El Salvador was announced on October 1, 
2008, based on the Secretary's determination that the conditions 
warranting the designation continued to be met. 73 FR 57128. This 
announcement is the seventh extension of TPS for El Salvador.

Why is the Secretary extending the TPS designation for El Salvador 
through March 9, 2012?

    Over the past year, DHS and the Department of State (DOS) have 
continued to review conditions in El Salvador. Based on this review, 
the Secretary has determined that an 18-month extension is warranted 
because there continues to be a substantial, but temporary, disruption 
of living conditions in El Salvador resulting from the series of 
earthquakes that struck the country in 2001, and El Salvador remains 
unable, temporarily, to adequately handle the return of its nationals.
    The 2001 earthquakes resulted in the loss of over a thousand lives, 
displacement of thousands more, the extensive destruction of physical 
infrastructure and severe damage to the country's economic system. See 
66 FR 14214 (March 9, 2001) (describing devastation caused by 
earthquakes). El Salvador's recovery from the earthquakes is still 
incomplete.
    As of February 2007, 136,988 houses had been reconstructed or 
repaired, not quite 50% of the total number that were destroyed or 
damaged. The housing program funded by the European Union was completed 
in March 2007, with a total of 5,482 houses constructed. As of June 
2008, the housing program funded by Inter-American Development Bank to 
construct 3,500 homes was underway with an expected completion date by 
the middle of 2009, but information on whether that goal was met is 
unavailable. DOS also reports that of the 276,000 homes destroyed in 
2001, only approximately half have been rebuilt to

[[Page 39558]]

date with the assistance of programs sponsored by USAID, other 
international donors, and the Salvadoran government. While the USAID 
programs were officially completed in 2006, other donor efforts have 
lagged. A significant number of families are still living in temporary 
housing.
    In the immediate aftermath of the earthquakes, several hospitals 
and 113 of 361 health facilities were severely damaged; these numbers 
represented 55% of the country's capacity to deliver health services. 
In June 2003, the Salvadoran legislature approved borrowing $142.6 
million for the reconstruction of hospitals. Reconstruction of only two 
of the damaged hospitals has been completed. The Salvadoran government 
has slowly worked to rebuild the other priority hospitals, but 
reconstruction of five hospitals is only half complete, and the 
rebuilding of one, the Maternity Hospital in San Salvador, apparently 
has yet to begin.
    More recent natural disasters have delayed the recovery from the 
2001 earthquakes. Tropical Storm Stan in October 2005 brought 
widespread flooding, loss of homes, and destruction of crops and 
infrastructure across the country. The eruption of the Santa Ana 
volcano that same month also caused localized destruction of 
communities and crops in the surrounding areas. A series of earthquakes 
in late 2006 resulted in the displacement of an additional 2,000 
families whose homes were destroyed. In 2009, Hurricane Ida caused 
extensive damage to crops, homes, roads, bridges, and other 
infrastructure. This recent hurricane also resulted in over 190 deaths 
and displaced more than 14,000 people in November 2009.
    Due to the unfinished recovery from the earthquakes, other recent 
destructive environmental events and its weak economy, El Salvador 
cannot adequately handle the return of hundreds of thousands of 
Salvadorans who currently have TPS but no other immigration status in 
the United States. Their return would further aggravate the country's 
poor economic situation by increasing unemployment. In addition to the 
weak economy and the incomplete reconstruction of health facilities, El 
Salvador is ill-equipped to handle the return of large numbers of its 
nationals from the United States because of an inadequate road 
infrastructure that limits access to markets and complicates access to 
health and education systems. El Salvador also continues to suffer a 
public security crisis that threatens to undermine sustained 
development and confidence in democratic governance, as well as 
increasing levels of violent crime.
    Based on this review and after consultation with the appropriate 
Government agencies, the Secretary finds that:
     The conditions that prompted the March 9, 2001, 
designation of El Salvador for TPS continue to be met. See section 
244(b)(3)(A) of the Act, 8 U.S.C. 1254a(b)(3)(A).
     There continues to be a substantial, but temporary, 
disruption in living conditions in El Salvador as the result of an 
environmental disaster. See section 244(b)(1)(B) of the Act, 8 U.S.C. 
1254a(b)(1)(B).
     El Salvador continues to be unable, temporarily, to 
adequately handle the return of its nationals (or aliens having no 
nationality who last habitually resided in El Salvador). See section 
244(b)(1)(B) of the Act, 8 U.S.C. 1254a(b)(1)(B).
     The designation of El Salvador for TPS should be extended 
for an additional 18-month period. See section 244(b)(3)(C) of the Act, 
8 U.S.C. 1254a(b)(3)(C).
     There are approximately 217,000 nationals of El Salvador 
(or aliens having no nationality who last habitually resided in El 
Salvador) who are eligible for TPS under this extended designation.

Notice of Extension of the TPS Designation of El Salvador

    By the authority vested in me as Secretary of Homeland Security 
under section 244 of the Act, 8 U.S.C. 1254a, I have determined after 
consultation with the appropriate government agencies that the 
conditions that prompted designation of El Salvador for temporary 
protected status (TPS) on March 9, 2001, continue to be met. See 
section 244(b)(3)(A) of the Act, 8 U.S.C. 1254a(b)(3)(A). On the basis 
of this determination, I am extending the TPS designation of El 
Salvador for 18 months from September 10, 2010, through March 9, 2012.

Janet Napolitano,
Secretary.

Required Application Forms and Application Fees To Register or Re-
Register for TPS

    To register or re-register for TPS, an applicant must submit:
    1. Form I-821, Application for Temporary Protected Status,
     You only need to pay the Form I-821 application fee if you 
are filing an application for late initial registration.
     You do not need to pay the Form I-821 fee for a re-
registration; and
    2. Form I-765, Application for Employment Authorization.
     If you are filing for re-registration, you must pay the 
Form I-765 application fee if you want an employment authorization 
document (EAD).
     If you are filing for late initial registration and want 
an EAD, you must pay the Form I-765 fee only if you are age 14 through 
65. No EAD fee is required if you are under the age of 14 or over the 
age of 65 and filing for late initial TPS registration.
     You do not pay the Form I-765 fee if you are not 
requesting an EAD.
    You must submit both completed application forms together. You may 
apply for application and/or biometrics fee waivers if you are unable 
to pay and you can provide proof through satisfactory supporting 
documentation. For more information on the application forms and 
application fees for TPS, please visit the USCIS Web site at http://www.uscis.gov.

Biometric Services Fee

    Biometrics (such as fingerprints) are required for all applicants 
14 years of age or older. Those applicants must submit a biometric 
services fee. For more information on the biometric services fee, 
please visit the USCIS Web site at http://www.uscis.gov.

Mailing Information

    Mail your application for TPS to the proper address in Table 1:

                       Table 1--Mailing Addresses
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                If . . .                          Mail to . . .
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You are applying for re-registration     USCIS, Attn: TPS El Salvador,
 through US Postal Service.               P.O. Box 8635, Chicago, IL
                                          60680-8635.
You are applying for the first time as   USCIS, Attn: TPS El Salvador,
 a late initial registrant through US     P.O. Box 8670, Chicago, IL
 Postal Service.                          60680-8670.

[[Page 39559]]

 
You are using a Non-US Postal Service    USCIS, Attn: TPS El Salvador,
 delivery service for both re-            131 S. Dearborn--3rd Floor,
 registration and first time late         Chicago, IL 60603-5517.
 initial registration.
You were granted TPS by an Immigration   USCIS, Attn: TPS El Salvador,
 Judge (IJ) or the Board of Immigration   P.O. Box 7332, Chicago, IL
 Appeals (BIA), and you wish to request   60680-7332.
 an EAD or are re-registering for the
 first time.
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E-Filing

    If you are re-registering for TPS during the re-registration period 
and you do not need to submit any supporting documents or evidence, you 
are eligible to file your applications electronically. For more 
information on e-filing, please visit the USCIS E-Filing Reference 
Guide at the USCIS Web site at http://www.uscis.gov.

Employment Authorization Document (EAD)

May I request an interim EAD at my local USCIS office?

    No. USCIS will not issue interim EADs to TPS applicants and re-
registrants at local offices.

Am I eligible to receive an automatic 6-month EAD extension from 
September 10, 2010, through March 9, 2011?

    To receive an automatic 6-month extension of your EAD:
     You must be a national of El Salvador (or an alien having 
no nationality who last habitually resided in El Salvador) who has 
applied for and received an EAD under the designation of El Salvador 
for TPS, and
     You have not had TPS withdrawn or denied.
    This automatic extension is limited to EADs issued on Form I-766, 
Employment Authorization Document, bearing an expiration date of 
September 9, 2010. These EADs must also bear the notation ``A-12'' or 
``C-19'' on the face of the card under ``Category.''

What documents may a qualified individual show to his or her employer 
as proof of employment authorization and identity when completing Form 
I-9?

    During the first six months of this extension, qualified 
individuals who have received a 6-month automatic extension of their 
EADs by virtue of this Federal Register notice may present their 
extended TPS-based EADs, as described above, to their employers as 
proof of identity and employment authorization through March 9, 2011. 
To minimize confusion over this extension at the time of hire or re-
verification, qualified individuals may also present a copy of this 
Federal Register notice regarding the automatic extension of employment 
authorization documentation through March 9, 2011.
    After March 9, 2011, TPS beneficiaries may present their EADs on 
Form I-766 with an extension date of March 9, 2012, to their employers 
as proof of employment authorization and identity. The EAD will bear 
the notation ``A-12'' or ``C-19'' on the face of the card under 
``Category.'' After March 9, 2011, employers may not accept EADs that 
no longer have a valid date.
    Employers should not request proof of Salvadoran citizenship. 
Employers should accept the EADs as valid ``List A'' documents. 
Employers should not ask for additional Form I-9 documentation if 
presented with an EAD that has been automatically extended or a new 
valid EAD pursuant to this Federal Register notice, and the EAD 
reasonably appears on its face to be genuine and to relate to the 
employee. Employees also may present any other legally acceptable 
document or combination of documents listed on the Form I-9 as proof of 
identity and employment eligibility.

Note to Employers

    Employers are reminded that the laws requiring employment 
eligibility verification and prohibiting unfair immigration-related 
employment practices remain in full force. This Notice does not 
supersede or in any way limit applicable employment verification rules 
and policy guidance, including those rules setting forth re-
verification requirements. For questions, employers may call the USCIS 
Customer Assistance Office at 1-800-357-2099. Employers may also call 
the U.S. Department of Justice Office of Special Counsel for 
Immigration Related Unfair Employment Practices (OSC) Employer Hotline 
at 1-800-255-8155.

Note to Employees

    Employees or applicants may call the OSC Employee Hotline at 1-800-
255-7688 for information regarding the automatic extension. Additional 
information is available on the OSC Web site at http://www.justice.gov/crt/osc/.

[FR Doc. 2010-16431 Filed 7-8-10; 8:45 am]
BILLING CODE 9111-97-P