November 20, 2014 was an important day for nationals from Liberia, Sierra Leone and Guinea living in the United States on that historic day, as they woke up to news regarding much-anticipated immigration relief in the form of Temporary Protected Status, or TPS.
Temporary in nature, the grant of TPS for the three countries affected most by Ebola was for a period of 18 months. The initial registration period was from Nov. 21, 2014 to May 20, 2015.
The deadline was extended to Aug. 18, 2015. It requires that an individual is a national from Liberia, Sierra Leone or Guinea, that they can document they were present in the US on the day of the designation, which is Nov. 20, 2014, and also that they have been in the US since that time.
Thank you to WNYC, Harper's Magazine and NPR's Alexandra Starr for revealing the horrors of human trafficking in "Trafficked to Play, Then Forgotten." The story, which reveals how the demand for college basketball talent has led to human trafficking in countries like Nigeria, was also heard on NPR All Things Considered and The Brian Lehrer Show, with the print version "American Hustle: How elite youth basketball exploits African athletes" by Alexandra Starr appearing in Harper's Magazine April edition (click here to read the full story).
African Services' dedicated legal team, led by ASC Supervising Attorney Kate Webster along with ASC staff attorney Jessica Greenberg, worked tirelessly to help secure a bright future for Alley Ene.
On May 2nd, 2015 African Services Committee's legal team partnered with the United States Sierra Leonean Association, the City Bar Justice Center, volunteer attorneys from around the city, Staten Island Liberian Community Association, and the Guinean Association of Staten Island to conduct the second free Ebola-related temporary protected status (TPS) legal clinic for nationals of Guinea, Sierra Leone and Liberia. The clinic took place at the United States Sierra Leonean Association in Park Hill, Staten Island.
Volunteer attorneys explained what TPS grants, helped attendees complete the TPS application, explained fees and the fee waiver process, work permit application and answered questions.
More than two dozen attendees received free legal assistance.
TPS is a temporary status for nationals of designated countries, usually those that have experienced a conflict, natural disaster, or some other extraordinary event. TPS gives these nationals a safe haven from being legally compelled to return to their country, while their country experiences one of these extreme events. Haiti was designated as eligible for TPS following the earthquake in 2010.