The Department of Homeland Security says it will grant temporary amnesty and work permits to immigrants from the three nations most ravaged by the Ebola virus.
According to the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS), Homeland Security Secretary Jeh Johnson decided to “designate Liberia, Guinea, and Sierra Leone for Temporary Protected Status (TPS) for 18 months” because it is too dangerous for people to go back to those nations. Those who are in the United States, as of Thursday, from Liberia, Sierra Leone, and Guinea can apply for Temporary Protected Status, which will be “effective Nov. 21, 2014, and will be in effect for 18 months.” Nearly 8,000 people are reportedly expected to apply for Temporary Protected Status.
Even those who “last habitually resided” in Liberia, Guinea, and Sierra Leone “will not be removed from the United States” and will be “authorized to work and obtain an Employment Authorization Document (EAD).”
Applicants must have continually resided in the U.S. since November 20, 2014, and have been “continuously physically present in” the country since November 21, 2014, according to USCIS. Those who pose a national security threat or “certain criminal records” will not be eligible. Eligible applicants can also apply for fee waivers.
Thomas Eric Duncan, who was the first person to be diagnosed with and die of Ebola on American soil, was from Liberia.