By Cherri Gregg
PHILADELPHIA (CBS) – President Obama’s executive order on immigration got a lot of press early this month. But a new initiative to give temporary protection to West African immigrants affected by Ebola has gone under the radar.
Secretary of homeland security Jeh Johnson announced last week that immigrants from Liberia, Sierra Lione, and Guinea — countries deeply affected by Ebola who are currently living in the US — can apply for a temporary, protected status and two-year work permit.
“It does not give a pathway to a green card or citizenship. It just gives temporary protection,” says Amanda Bergson-Shilcock of the Welcoming Center for New Pennsylvanians.
She says the government sometimes gives this status to immigrants dealing with natural disasters in the home countries:
“Ebola is not a natural disaster per se, but it’s having a very serious effect on the economies back in West Africa,” she says.
The application deadline is May 20th of next year.
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