Deferred Enforced Departure for Liberians in U.S. Ends Shortly

Liberians in US rally

Deferred Enforced Departure (DED) for Liberians, a humanitarian relief program similar to TPS (Temporary Protected Status), will terminate on March 31, 2019 according to a formal memo released by President Donald Trump. Liberian DED was set to expire on March 31, 2018. President Trump announced that there will be twelve-month wind down period to ease the transition for as many as several thousand Liberians – many of whom have been in the United States for close to twenty years.

According to the, the DED program for Liberians was initiated by President Bill Clinton in 1999 and has been renewed in one form or another by Presidents George W. Bush and Barack Obama – until now. Prior to the announcement, approximately 50 bipartisan members of Congress asked the President to extend the DED program for at least three years to allow Liberia to strengthen its infrastructure and stabilize following two ruinous civil wars and the Ebola outbreak. But President Trump responded in his memo that “Liberia is no longer experiencing armed conflict and has made significant progress in restoring stability and democratic governance.”

President Trump’s decision to terminate the program is similar to the decisions he has recently made regarding DACA and TPS for individuals from Haiti, El Salvador and Nicaragua, among others. As with DACA, the President again noted that “[o]nly Congress can legislate a permanent solution addressing the lack of an enduring lawful immigration status for those currently protected by DED who have lived and worked in the United States for many years.”

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About Cholo Brooks 14426 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.