Liberia Redesignated for Temporary Protected Status
Under Liberia's original TPS designation, applicants were required to have entered the United States by March 27, 1991. A subsequent re designation established a new cut-off date of June 1, 1996. On March 31, 1998, the attorney general published a notice in the Federal Register terminating TPS for Liberians, with a final six-month extension ending on September 28, 1998. However, according to the Justice Department, "the recent recurrence of armed conflict in Liberia has caused the Attorney General to reconsider TPS for Liberia."
The registration period for the redesignation began September 29,1998 and will remain in effect until March 29, 1999.
This move pre-empts the need for congressional action on LiberianTPS. Several weeks ago, in response to advocacy by refugee and Liberian organizations, Sen. Harry Reid (D-Nev.) convinced Sen. Judd Gregg (R-N.H.), chair of the Senate appropriations subcommittee on Commerce, Justice, State, and the Judiciary, to include an extension of Liberian TPS on the subcommittee's FY 99 spending bill, which was subsequently passed by the Senate. It is unclear whether thisprovision would have been accepted by the House of Representatives. However, the Senate's extension would have applied only to the approximately 8,000 Liberians who previously registered for TPS under the 1996 cut-off date. The redesignation will allow an estimated 10,000 Liberians to receive temporary protection.
Still pending before Congress is the "Liberian Refugee Immigration Fairness Act of 1998" (H.R. 3915), introduced in May by Rep. Patrick Kennedy (D-R.I.). The legislation, which would go a step further than TPS by granting permanent residence to many Liberians in the United States, is not likely to be considered before Congress adjourns.
SOURCE: Refugee Reports, Vol. 19, No 9 (1998)