Homeland Security Secretary Jeh Johnson announced today that he has designated Liberia, Guinea, and Sierra Leone for Temporary Protected Status (TPS) for the next 18 months because of the ongoing Ebola outbreak in West Africa. This 18-month protected status means that eligible citizens from these three countries will not be deported from the U.S. while they have TPS, and while it will not lead to a green card, they are also authorized to work legally. Making TPS designations is but one manifestation of the president’s power to faithfully execute the immigration laws.

According to Reuters, administration officials expect 8,000 people to apply for TPS. “The Ebola response in the United States has been front and center in the United States government at high levels,” a Department of Homeland Security official told Reuters. “This designation has been part of that constant monitoring, reevaluation and reassessment of the appropriate response.”