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U.S. Government extends Liberias designation for TPS

Patrick Flomo/Benjamin S. Taingay
U.S. Homeland Security Department Secretary, Jeh Johnson.
U.S. Homeland Security Department Secretary, Jeh Johnson.

( 23, 2016)-The United States (U.S.) Government has extended Liberia’s designation for Temporary Protected Status (TPS) for additional six months.

The U.S. Government also extended the designations of Guinea and Sierra Leone for the TPS covering the same period.

The six month TPS extension for the three West African Countries was effectuated by the U.S. Department Secretary of Homeland Security (DHS), Jeh Johnson.

The disclosure was made in a recent communication from the U.S. Department Secretary of Homeland Security. Mr. Johnson acknowledged that there are significant improvements in the conditions of all three countries.

He, however, noted that since their designations for TPS in November 2014, the lingering effects of the Ebola virus disease outbreak and continued recovery challenges support the six-month extension. The extended period covers May 22 - November 21, 2016.

Current TPS beneficiaries from Liberia, Guinea and Sierra Leone, seeking their TPS extension, must re-register during a 60-day period that runs from March 22 to May 23, 2016.

The six-month extension will allow TPS re-registrants to apply for a new Employment Authorization Document (EAD) in the U. S.

Eligible TPS beneficiaries, who re-registered during the 60-day period and requested a new EAD, will receive one with an expiration date of November 21, 2016.

Reacting to the TPS extension, Liberia’s Ambassador to the United States, Jeremiah Sulunteh, lauded the U.S. Government for affording Liberians and other West Africans the opportunity to extend their stay in the U.S.

It can be recalled that in February this year, Ambassador Sulunteh wrote separate letters to U.S. Secretary of State, John Kerry, and Secretary of Homeland Security, Jeh Johnson, seeking extension of the TPS.

Ambassador Sulunteh made the request, because Liberia, Guinea and Sierra Leone were still recovering from the Ebola epidemic.

In his letters to Secretary of State Kerry and DHS Secretary Johnson, Ambassador Sulunteh said Liberia’s recovery is fragile and as a result, an influx of returning nationals from abroad would negatively impact the peace and economic life of the country.

He also emphasized in his letters that the role of Liberians in the United States has been crucial both in the Ebola epidemic eradication and in Liberia’s economic recovery initiatives.


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