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Citizens of Liberia, Guinea, and Sierra Leone may be able to stay in the U.S. 18 months longer than they otherwise could because of the Ebola epidemic.
Homeland Security Secretary Jeh Johnson announced that citizens of the three countries worst hit by the epidemic can apply for Temporary Protected Status for 18 months.
“The designations mean that eligible nationals of Liberia, Guinea, and Sierra Leone (and people without nationality who last habitually resided in one of those three countries) will not be removed from the United States and are authorized to work and obtain an Employment Authorization Document,” Homeland Security said in a statement.
They have to have been living in the U.S. as of Thursday, Nov. 20 and pass a security check. “Individuals with certain criminal records or who pose a threat to national security are not eligible for TPS,” the agency said.
The World Health Organization says the Ebola epidemic continues to worsen in Sierra Leone and Guinea and it’s barely stable in Liberia. It’s infected at least 15,000 people and killed more than 5,000 of them.
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— Maggie Fox