Trump’s move to end humanitarian program exposes Liberian UCLA student to deportation

UCLA student Yatta Kiazolu will be eligible for deportation after U.S. humanitarian relief protections for Liberians expire at the end of this month. (Kent Nishimura / Los Angeles Times)

(The Los Angeles Times) – After the end of this month, Yatta Kiazolu will be eligible for deportation to a country where she never has lived.

The 28-year-old PhD candidate in history at UCLA was born in Botswana to Liberian parents. She has lived in the U.S. since she was 7 and since 2002 has maintained legal authorization under a humanitarian relief program.

President Trump moved to end deferred enforced departure for Liberians last year, saying that the country is no longer mired in armed conflict and has sufficiently recovered from the 2014 Ebola outbreak in West Africa. More than 350,000 Liberians were displaced by civil war and fled the country.

The program is set to end March 31, leaving an estimated 4,000 people vulnerable to deportation. Though DED bears a strong resemblance to temporary protected status — another humanitarian program facing termination that would affect some 400,000 immigrants — it has largely been left out of the national conversation.

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About Cholo Brooks 13327 Articles
Joel Cholo Brooks is a Liberian journalist who previously worked for several international news outlets including the BBC African Service. He is the CEO of the Global News Network which publishes two local weeklies, The Star and The GNN-Liberia Newspapers. He is a member of the Press Union Of Liberia (PUL) since 1986, and several other international organizations of journalists, and is currently contributing to the South Africa Broadcasting Corporation as Liberia Correspondent.