[Federal Register Volume 75, Number 211 (Tuesday, November 2, 2010)]
[Notices]
[Pages 67383-67386]
From the Federal Register Online via the Government Publishing Office [www.gpo.gov]
[FR Doc No: 2010-27613]


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DEPARTMENT OF HOMELAND SECURITY

 U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services

[CIS No. 2497-99; DHS Docket No. USCIS 2010-0010]
RIN 1615-ZA99


Extension of the Designation of Somalia for Temporary Protected 
Status

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 
(Secretary) has extended the designation of Somalia for temporary 
protected status (TPS) for 18 months, from its current expiration date 
of March 17, 2011 through September 17, 2012. The Secretary has 
determined that an 18-month extension is warranted because conditions 
in Somalia prompting the TPS designation continue to be met. Armed 
conflict in Somalia is ongoing and, due to such conflict and other 
extraordinary and temporary conditions, requiring the return of 
eligible individuals with TPS to Somalia would pose a serious threat to 
their personal safety.
    This Notice also sets forth procedures necessary for nationals of 
Somalia (or aliens having no nationality who last habitually resided in 
Somalia) 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 Somalia and 
whose applications have been granted or remain pending. Certain 
nationals of Somalia (or aliens having no nationality who last 
habitually resided in Somalia) who have not previously applied for TPS 
may be eligible to apply under the late initial registration 
provisions. Information on late initial registration can be found on 
the USCIS Web site at http://www.uscis.gov on the ``Temporary Protected 
Status'' homepage.
    USCIS will issue new EADs with a September 17, 2012 expiration date 
to eligible TPS beneficiaries who timely re-register and apply for 
EADs.

DATES: The extension of the TPS designation of Somalia is effective 
March 18, 2011, and will remain in effect through September 17, 2012. 
The 60-day re-registration period begins November 2, 2010 and will 
remain in effect until January 3, 2011.

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 under ``Humanitarian Relief.'' You 
can find detailed information about this TPS extension on our Web site 
at the Somali 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
AI--Amnesty International
DHS--Department of Homeland Security
DOS--Department of State

[[Page 67384]]

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
TFG--Transitional Federal Government
TPS--Temporary Protected Status
UN--United Nations
UNHCR--United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees
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 with no 
nationality who last habitually resided in the designated country).
     During the TPS designation period, TPS beneficiaries are 
eligible to remain in the United States and may obtain work 
authorization, so long as they continue to meet the requirements 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) 
unless they lawfully obtained another immigration status while 
registered for TPS.

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

    Section 244(b)(1) of the Immigration and Nationality Act (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 (codifying 
HSA, tit. XV, sec. 1517).
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    At least 60 days before the expiration of a 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) and (C) of the 
Act, 8 U.S.C. 1254a(b)(3)(A) and (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 Somalia designated for TPS?

    On September 16, 1991, the Attorney General designated Somalia for 
TPS based on the ongoing armed conflict and extraordinary and temporary 
conditions within the country. 56 FR 46804. See section 244(a)(b)(1)(A) 
and (C) of the Act, 8 U.S.C. 1254a(b)(1)(A) and (C). On September 4, 
2001, the Attorney General redesignated Somalia for TPS. 66 FR 46288. 
The last extension of TPS for Somalia was announced on July 27, 2009, 
based on the Secretary's determination that the conditions warranting 
the designation and redesignation continued to be met. 74 FR 37043. 
This announcement is the eighth extension of TPS for Somalia since the 
redesignation in 2001.

Why is the Secretary extending the TPS designation for Somalia through 
September 17, 2012?

    Over the past year, DHS and the Department of State (DOS) have 
continued to review conditions in Somalia. Based on this review, and 
after consulting with DOS, the Secretary has determined that an 18-
month extension is warranted because the conditions prompting 
designation and redesignation continue to be met. Armed conflict in 
Somalia is ongoing and, due to such conflict and other extraordinary 
and temporary conditions requiring the return of eligible individuals 
with TPS to Somalia would pose a serious threat to their personal 
safety.
    Somalia remains in a state of chaos characterized by the lack of a 
central government, a crippled economy, the absence of civil 
structures, destruction of infrastructure, and generalized insecurity 
in the form of banditry, kidnapping, looting, revenge killings, 
targeted assassinations, suicide car-bombings, and inter-clan fighting. 
A total of 7,574 civilians were killed in 2008. An additional 1,739 
civilians were killed in 2009. In January 2010 alone, 258 civilians 
were killed in the escalating conflict. An April 2010 United Nations 
(UN) report states that trafficking of women and children is 
widespread. An April 2010 report by Human Rights Watch indicates that 
men and boys were forcibly recruited into militia forces, and were 
killed if they refused. An Amnesty International (AI) report covering 
the period between September 2009 and March 2010 stated that civilians 
were deliberately targeted for attacks and that opposition groups which 
continued to control south and central Somalia increasingly subjected 
civilians living in those areas to serious human rights violations, 
including abduction, torture, and unlawful killings.
    In January 2009, Sheikh Sharif Sheikh Ahmed was appointed as 
president of the Transitional Federal Government (TFG). De-escalation 
of violence in Mogadishu and other parts of southern and central 
Somalia followed and some 60,000 people returned. However, a new 
offensive in May 2009 against the TFG and resumed fighting resulted in 
death or injury to thousands of civilians and forced some 255,000 
people to flee the city.
    As of March 25, 2010, the United Nations High Commissioner for 
Refugees (UNHCR) estimated the number of people internally displaced 
within Somalia at 1.4 million. The number of Somalis who sought refuge 
in neighboring countries in 2008 was 106,909. In 2009, the number rose 
to 121,177. In the first quarter of 2010, the number of individuals who 
sought refuge in neighboring countries was 21,730. According to UNHCR 
figures, the total number of Somali refugees in neighboring countries 
is 568,640.
    In January 2008, the number of Somalis in need of humanitarian 
assistance was 1.8 million. As of February 2010, the UN Food Security 
and Nutrition Analysis Unit reported the number at 3.2 million, or 42% 
of the population. However, humanitarian efforts have been hindered by 
increasing targeted attacks on humanitarian workers countrywide. 
Several international assistance organizations have had to suspend most 
humanitarian feeding operations. According to the March 25, 2010 AI 
report, ``The delivery of emergency humanitarian aid in Somalia is 
shrinking.'' The threat of piracy, insecurity, restrictions on movement 
and operations of aid agencies, and corruption hampered the delivery of 
humanitarian aid to populations in need.
    Based on this review and after consultation with the appropriate 
Government agencies, the Secretary has determined that:
     The conditions that prompted the September 4, 2001 
redesignation of Somalia for TPS continue to be met. See

[[Page 67385]]

section 244(b)(3)(A) and (C) of the Act, 8 U.S.C. 1254a(b)(3)(A) and 
(C).
     Requiring the return of nationals to Somalia continues to 
pose a serious threat to their personal safety due to an ongoing armed 
conflict. See section 244(b)(1)(A) of the Act, 8 U.S.C. 1254a(b)(1)(A).
     Nationals of Somalia still cannot return to Somalia in 
safety due to continued extraordinary and temporary conditions. See 
section 244(b)(1)(C) of the Act, 8 U.S.C. 1254a(b)(1)(C).
     It is not contrary to the national interest of the United 
States to permit aliens who meet the eligibility requirements of TPS to 
remain in the United States temporarily. See section 244(b)(1)(C) of 
the Act, 8 U.S.C. 1254a(b)(1)(C).
     The designation of Somalia 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 300 nationals of Somalia (or 
aliens having no nationality who last habitually resided in Somalia) 
who are eligible for TPS under this extended designation.

Notice of Extension of the TPS Designation of Somalia

    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 redesignation of Somalia for temporary 
protected status (TPS) on September 4, 2001, continue to be met. See 
section 244(b)(3)(A) and (C) of the Act, 8 U.S.C. 1254a(b)(3)(A) and 
(C). On the basis of this determination, I am extending the TPS 
designation of Somalia for 18 months from March 18, 2011 through 
September 17, 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 need to pay the Form I-821 application fee only 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. 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 
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 Somalia, P.O. Box 8677, Chicago, IL 60680-8677.
 through US Postal Service.
You are applying for the first time as a   USCIS, Attn: TPS Somalia, P.O. Box 8677, Chicago, IL 60680-8677.
 late initial registrant through US
 Postal Service.
You are using a Non-US Postal Service      USCIS, Attn: TPS Somalia, 131 S. Dearborn--3rd Floor, Chicago, IL
 delivery service for both re-              60603-5517.
 registration and first time late initial
 registration.
You were granted TPS by an Immigration     USCIS, Attn: TPS Somalia, P.O. Box 7332, Chicago, IL 60680-7332.
 Judge (IJ) or the Board of Immigration
 Appeals (BIA), and you wish to request
 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.

Will my current EAD that is set to expire on March 17, 2011, be 
automatically extended for 6 months?

    No. This notice does not automatically extend previously issued 
EADs. DHS has announced the extension of the TPS designation of Somalia 
and established the re-registration period at an early date to allow 
sufficient time for USCIS to process EAD requests prior to the March 
17, 2011 expiration date. You must apply during the 60-day re-
registration period. Failure to apply during the re-registration period 
without good cause may result in a withdrawal of your TPS benefits. DHS 
strongly encourages you to apply as early as possible within the re-
registration period.

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

    After March 17, 2011, a TPS beneficiary who chooses to present an 
EAD as a List A document may present his or her new EAD (Form I-766) 
with a new expiration date of September 17, 2012, to his or her 
employer as proof of employment authorization and identity. The EAD 
will bear the notation ``A-12'' or ``C-19'' on the face of the card in 
the middle under ``Category.'' After March 17, 2011, employers may not 
accept EADs that no longer have a valid date.

[[Page 67386]]

    Employers may not request proof of Somali citizenship. Employers 
should not ask for additional Form I-9 documentation if presented with 
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. 2010-27613 Filed 11-1-10; 8:45 am]
BILLING CODE 9111-97-P