INS Grants Extension of Deferred Enforced Departure for Eligible Liberians

WASHINGTON : The Immigration and Naturalization Service (INS) annonunced it will defer for one year the deportation or removal of certain qualified Liberians present in the United States, in response to President Bush’s announcement in which he authorized Deferred Enforced Departure (DED) for qualified Liberians until September 29, 2002. continued foreign policy reasons. Under DED, approximately 10,000 Liberians in the United States as of September 29, 2001, will be protected from removal for one year and will be authorized to work in the United States.

Most Liberians present in the United States from 1991 through 1999 resided here under Temporary Protected Status (TPS), a form of protection offered when conditions in a country are determined to be too dangerous or unstable for its nationals to safely return. Although TPS ended for Liberians on September 28, 1999, President Clinton determined that for foreign policy reasons, Liberians would receive protection from removal under Deferred Enforced Departure for another year, September 1999, and again in September 2000. Because of continued foreign policy reasons President Bush has also decided to extend DED for another year.

To obtain employment authorization, qualified Liberian nationals will need to file Form I-765, Application for Employment Authorization, and Form I-765D, Liberian DED Supplemental to Form I-765, at the District Office that has jurisdiction over the applicant’s place of residence. The Filing fee for submitting an EAD application is waived for DED recipients. However, all first time applicants will be required to submit the Standard $25 fingerprinting fee.

In addition, applicants must submit a copy of the following documentation, if available, to establish their eligibility for work authorization:

· Form I-94, Arrival Departure Record
· Recent Employment Authorization Document (EAD)
· Photo identification, such as a passport, driver’s license or identity card or a school identification
card.
· Applicants must also submit two photographs with their application.

If these documents are not available, applicants must submit an affidavit for affirming that they are a national of Liberia who was present in the United States as of September 29, 1999, and are eligible for DED. There will be an interview process to determine eligibility.

To determine the eligibility the applicant must go through an interview process. However there are some exceptions for who have committed certain crimes, persons who are persecutors, and persons who have previously been deported, excluded or removed.

The Filing fee for submitting an EAD application is waived for DED recipients. However, all first time applicants will be required to submit the Standard $25 fingerprinting fee.

In addition, applicants must submit a copy of the following documentation, if available, to establish their eligibility for work authorization:

· Form I-94, Arrival Departure Record
· Recent Employment Authorization Document (EAD)
· Photo identification, such as a passport, driver’s
license or identity card or a school identification
card.
· Applicants must also submit two photographs with
their application.

If these documents are not available, applicants must submit an affidavit for affirming that they are a national of Liberia who was present in the United States as of September 29, 1999, and are eligible for DED. There will be an interview process to determine eligibility.

To determine the eligibility the applicant must go through an interview process. However there are some exceptions for who have committed certain crimes, persons who are persecutors, and persons who have previously been deported, excluded or removed.

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Anthrax Scares – INS confident to resume work immediately

Washington – Bill Yates, INS Deputy Executive Associate Commissioner has confirmed that mail intake has been halted Service-wide in reaction to an incident on Saturday in which white Powder was found in an envelope received at the Vermont Service Center.

INS headquarters expects to release guidance to the field on mail handling procedures, and also expects that mail intake at all but the Service Centers should be resumed very soon. Because of issues involving the mailroom contractor at the Service Centers, some additional issues need to be ironed out with respect to those offices, but it is expected that mail intake will resume at the Service Centers very soon.

AILA received an email from the from the Director Of the Vermont Service Center as follows:

“On Saturday we experienced a letter with an unknown powder on it in the mailroom. The building was evacuated while the investigation was Conducted. All operation in that building was stopped. The preliminary test is negative but as of this morning the mailroom remains closed. This will have an impact on mail operations as we work to open the mailroom and adjust our processes….”

The Nebraska Service Center has advised AILA that its mail is being held at the Post Office at this time. The NSC Director has Instructed the NSC mailroom contractor to accept packages from courier services such as Federal Express, but there were some miscommunications and the
couriers were turned away. According to the NSC Director, the NSC has contacted those services and asked them to return to make their deliveries.

INS Compassionate Towards Families of Terrorist Attacks

Washington, Oct 10 – Immigration and Naturalization Service (INS) James W. Ziglar, announced that families of victims of the terrorist attacks on the World Trade Center and the Pentagon whose immigrant or non-immigrant status was dependent on the victim’s status should not be concerned about facing immediate removal from the United States. “The INS will exercise its discretion in a compassionate way toward families of victims during this time of mourning and readjustment ” The commissioner noted.

Expressing deep concern about a recent report of a British woman fearing removal due to the loss of her husband in the World Trade Center attack the Commissioner noted that the woman was told at a September 27 meeting with INS officials in Newark, New Jersey that she was not facing removal and was offered deferred action, which would allow her to remain in the United States and to receive work authorization.

The Commissioner emphasized that the facts of this case created an unfortunate timing situation. The woman’s husband was in the United States on an HI-B non-immigrant work visa that expired in August based on the six-year statutory limitation for such visas. Her husband applied for a ‘O’ non-immigrant visa in INS Service Center mailed a routine letter to her husband’s attorney requesting information regarding the husband’s eligibility for an ‘O’ visa. The late July 2001. On September 13, 2001, the Vermont Service Center was unaware that the applicant was missing in the World Trade Center attack. However, when INS was made aware of her situation, it immediately exercised its discretion and granted deferred action for humanitarian reasons.

On Friday, October 5, 2001, the Commissioner visited New York to reiterate his call for undocumented aliens and employers who have lost their kith and kin or employees in the terrorist attacks to contact local authorities to assist in identifying victims and the missing without fear of INS seeking such information. The Commissioner noted during a press conference in New York that INS is developing a policy for the handling of immigration cases that may have been affected by the September 11 attack.

New Biometric Mexican Border Crossing Cards Implemented

WASHINGTON – The Immigration and Naturalization Service (INS) has made a beginning to implement the legal requirements for the new biometric Mexican border crossing cards (BCCs). DSP –150, also known as the laser visa, has a photo and machine – readable information. From now on any Mexican who seeks admission with a BCC has to present the new biometric card to an inspector before being admitted to the United Sates.

Holders of the old border crossing cards, Form I-186 or I-586, must replace them with the new biometric, machine-readable, cards (DSP-150). The new card is both a BCC and a B1-B2 visitor’s visa. The Illegal Immigration Reform and Immigrant Responsibility Act of 1996 mandate the requirement.

Those persons interested in seeking admissions to the United States on or after October 1, 2001 must have one of the following documents.
· The new biometric, machine readable, B1-B2 visa/BCC (DSP-150);
· Either the old, INS-issued non-biometric BCC (Form I-186, I-586) or a pre-1998 DOS-issued version of the BCC. Both must be clipped and have a valid approval sticker, currently expiring December 31, 2001. INS will facilitate entry under a temporary lawful waiver if applicants are otherwise admissible;
· A B1-B2 visa and a BCC combination document issued by DOS before 1998, where the visa is still valid, along with a valid passport; or
· A valid visa and passport.

The DOS has been accepting applications for the new documents since April 1, 1998, and has processed more than 4 million applications. Persons must call a toll fee number in Mexico (listed below) to arrange for an appointment at a U.S. consulate. At their scheduled appointment, consular staff in Mexico photographs and fingerprint the applicants

The posts that are accepting biometric BCC applications are located in Mexico City, Ciudad Juarez, Guadalajara, Hermosillo, Merida, Matamoros, Monterrey, Nogales, Nuevo Laredo, Tijuana, and at the Tijuana and the Mexicali Temporary Processing Facilities.

In Mexico, visa information is available by calling 01-900-849-4949. More information on visa is available at no charge on the U.S. Embassy homepage at http://www.usembassy-mexico.gov

Old Mexican Border Crossing Cards to be replaced soon

WASHINGTON: Old Border Crossing cards issued by The Immigration and Naturalization Service (INS) to the Mexican citizens will expire on September 30,2001.

The Immigration and Naturalization Service (INS) and the Department of State (DOS) today issued a reminder to the BCCs holders. Holders of the old Border Crossing Cards, Form I-186 or I-586, must replace them with the new “laser visa” card. The new card is both a BCC and a B1/B2 visitor’s visa. Current law requires that all BCCs be replaced by September 30, 2001. The new laser visa is valid for 10 years and is a laminated, credit-card-style document.

Consular staff in Mexico photographs and fingerprint the applicants, adjudicate the cases, then electronically forward the data to INS, which manages the laser visa card production contract. When complete, the cards are returned to Mexico for delivery to the applicant by DOS. The main aim of the program is to avoid disruptions to cross-border travel and trade by replacing all the old Border Crossing Cards by the September 2001 deadline.

Until the new BCC card arrives, applicants will be given temporary evidence that allows the applicant to travel. INS estimates that approximately 5.5 million old cards must be replaced. The posts that are accepting laser visa applications are located in Mexico City, Ciudad Juarez, Guadalajara, Hermosillo, Merida, Matamoros, Monterrey, Nogales, Nuevo Laredo, Tijuana, and at the Tijuana and the Mexicali Temporary Processing Facilities INS and DOS with the support of U.S Ambassador to Mexico are currently implementing a major Mexico-wide public information effort, to make travelers aware of the approaching deadline.

For visa information in Mexico call 01-900-849-3737. More information is available at no charge on the U.S. Embassy Internet homepage at http://www.usembassy.org.mx.