Department of Homeland Security Extends TPS For Liberians


The Perspective
Atlanta, Georgia

August 7, 2003

The Temporary Protective Status (TPS) for Liberians residing in the US, which is expected to expire on October 1, 2003, has been extended by the Department of Homeland Security for another year. The new TPS designation runs from October 1, 2003 to October 1, 2004. Eligible candidates are required to re-register from August 6, 2003 through October 6, 2003. According to the designation received by this paper, "Re-registration is limited to persons who registered under the initial designation (for which the registration period ended on April 1, 2003). Certain nationals of Liberia (or aliens having no nationality who last habitually resided in Liberia) who previously have not applied for TPS may be eligible to apply under the late initial registration provisions."

The TPS designation notice stated:

"A 12-month extension is warranted due to ongoing armed conflict within Liberia that would pose a serious threat to the personal safety of returning nationals of Liberia…

"Fighting between government security forces and the Liberians United for Reconciliation and Democracy (LURD) rebels has intensified in western Liberia over the last three years and recently reached heightened levels. DOS Recommendation (June 4, 2003). The newly emerged rebel force Movement for Democracy in Liberia (MODEL) is now active in eastern Liberia, opening a second front. Id. Fighting has spread to 10 of Liberia's 13 counties. Id. Rebel groups currently control between 40 and 60 percent of the territory of Liberia. BCIS Resource Information Center (RIC) Report (June 17, 2003). The rebels, who want to oust President Charles Taylor, have stepped up their attacks and recently reached the capital, Monrovia. DOS Recommendation; United Nations News Service (July 21,

According to a February 2003 report from the United Nations (U.N.) Secretary-General, the situation in Liberia "remains extremely volatile, with the rebels reportedly in control of several towns and cities." RIC Report. The U.N. Secretary General's representative also stated that the "security situation had deteriorated progressively since the start of the year and the trend would continue unless concerted action was taken to bring about a ceasefire between government troops and rebels of the LURD…"

"All sides in Liberia have engaged in atrocities against civilians. DOS Recommendation. Civilians are directly threatened by the various fighting forces, all of whom continue to commit serious human rights abuses, including extrajudicial killings, disappearances, torture, forced military recruitment of children and adults, beatings, and rape. Id. Fighting between government and rebel forces also poses a threat...

"Civilians suffer increasingly from deteriorating humanitarian conditions related to the fighting. Several areas of the country are inaccessible to relief organizations. The U.N. Secretary General observed that the "security situation in Liberia has deteriorated so badly that it has become extremely difficult to reach internally displaced persons and third-country refugees who have now fallen victim to abductions, conscriptions, and various gross violations of human rights." RIC Report. Liberia's internally displaced persons (IDP) population has swelled from about 200,000 to 300,000 since January 2003. DOS Recommendation. There are now 55,000 Liberian refugees in Sierra Leone, 130,000 in Guinea, and 30,000 in Ivory Coast. Id. Liberia's vital services, such as food, water, sanitation, shelter, and health, are on the verge
of collapse.

"Based upon this review, the Secretary of DHS, after consultation with appropriate Government agencies, finds that the conditions that prompted designation of Liberia under the TPS program continue to be met. 8 U.S.C. 1254a(b)(3)(A). There is an ongoing armed conflict within Liberia and, due to such conflict, requiring the return of aliens who are nationals of Liberia (or aliens having no nationality who last habitually resided in Liberia) would pose a serious threat to their personal safety. 8 U.S.C. 1254a(b)(1)(A). On the basis of these findings, the Secretary of DHS concludes that the TPS designation for Liberia should be extended for an additional 12-month period. 8U.S.C. 1254a(b)(3)(C).

"Tom Ridge,
Secretary of Homeland Security. "

Source: Federal Information & News Dispatch, Inc.