(The Hill) -- The Obama administration is granting temporary protected status to roughly 8,000 people living in the United States whose home countries are stricken with Ebola.
The move by the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) is intended to protect people from being deported back to places experiencing disaster conditions.
The government will allow people from Liberia, Guinea and Sierra Leone to apply for protection from deportation and for work permits that last 18 months, officials told Reuters. Grants of protected status will be re-evaluated after that period based on the state of the Ebola epidemic.
DHS is placing several limits on the policy.
No one arriving from the three countries after Thursday will be eligible for protected status, and successful applicants will not be permitted to travel back and forth from West Africa out of concern about Ebola's spread.