Following Payne Letter, DHS Extends Temporary Protected Status Registration Period for Liberia, Guinea, Sierra Leone

Jun 25, 2015 Issues: Local Issues
Congressman Payne, Jr. discusses efforts to assist those impacted by the Ebola virus.

Washington, D.C. – Following Congressman Donald M. Payne, Jr.’s (NJ-10) letter to the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) requesting the extension of the deadline for African immigrants from Liberia, Guinea, and Sierra Leone to apply for Temporary Protected Status (TPS), DHS extended the TPS registration period from May 20, 2015 to August 18, 2015. 

“I am pleased that DHS has extended this critical Temporary Protected Status registration period,” said Congressman Payne, Jr. “The United States has an extremely large African immigrant community, and they should not be neglected. A lack of adequate time to register for TPS threatened the removal of West African immigrants who are integral members of our communities. The registration period extension acknowledges this reality and provides more time for eligible immigrants to learn about the TPS process and submit their applications.”

In November 2014, in response to the outbreak of Ebola in West Africa, DHS Secretary Jeh Johnson designated Liberia, Guinea, and Sierra Leone for TPS for 18 months, with a 180-day registration period running from November 21, 2014 through May 20, 2015. As a result of TPS, eligible nationals of Liberia, Guinea, and Sierra Leone may apply for protection from deportation and for work permits with U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS).

In his May 6 letter to DHS Secretary Jeh Johnson, Payne, Jr. explained that failure to allow adequate time for eligible individuals to register would threaten the infrastructure of Liberia, Guinea, and Sierra Leone, and would displace individuals who have lived in the United States the majority of their lives. Payne, Jr. also called for increased outreach, noting that many immigrants were unaware of the TPS registration deadline, and also stressed the importance of USCIS using language specific and culturally sensitive tactics in its outreach efforts to better serve the African immigrant community.

On May 2, Congressman Donald M. Payne, Jr. hosted an orientation on the U.S. Department of Homeland Security’s policy designating Liberia, Guinea, and Sierra Leone for Temporary Protected Status (TPS) due to the Ebola outbreak in West Africa.