ADC Files TPS Request for Libya – Addresses Student Visa Holders

Washington, DC | www.adc.org | June 17, 2011 – The American-Arab Anti-Discrimination Committee (ADC) and the Libyan Council of North America (LCNA) has formally requested that the Secretary of the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) grant Temporary Protective Status (TPS) under section 244 of the Immigration and Nationality Act, to Libyan nationals presently in the United States. The request was sent directly to DHS Secretary Janet Napolitano as a result of the growing civil strife in the nation.

ADC also is working with DHS to ensure that while the TPS request is pending, no student visa holders from Libya in the U.S. get deported. The Department of Treasury recently froze the funds of the Libyan government, effectively cutting tuition funding to nearly 2,300 students in the U.S. This decision could lead to the students falling out of status and eligible to be removed from country. DHS has ensured ADC that removal proceedings against Libyan students would be “laxed.”

Earlier this week Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) published a notice in the Federal Register suspending certain regulatory requirements in order to allow eligible Libyan F-1 students to obtain employment authorization, work an increased number of hours during the school term, if necessary, reduce their course load while continuing to maintain their F-1 student status.

ADC and LCNA have lead a collaborative effort with the endorsement of key community organizations including the Libyan Emergency Task Force (LETF), the Libyan Outreach Group (LO), the Libya Foundation (LF), the Libyan American Association of Southern California (LAASC), the Libyan Outreach Student Committee (LOSC), and the New Libya Foundation (NLF). The Libyan Transitional National Council has also endorsed this urgent request.

Under 8 U.S.C. § 1254a, the Department of Homeland Security may designate any foreign state or part of a foreign state for Temporary Protected Status if there is ongoing armed conflict within the state and, due to the conflict, requiring the return of nationals to that state or part of a state would pose a serious threat to their personal safety. In the context of escalating and “ongoing armed conflict,” requiring nationals to return to Libya “would pose a serious threat to their safety.”

Pro Bono Services: Individual Relief Available for Libyans with Expiring Visa

Individual relief is available for Libyan nationals presently in the U.S. with an expiring visa, and/or an expired visa.  The ADC Legal Department, which operates on a pro bono basis, can provide answers and guidance to those in the Libyan community.  Please send your inquiries to legal@adc.org, or call 202-244-2990.