Washington DC, USA : The Liberian Refugee Immigration Fairness Act of 2019 in the U.S. Senate is gaining lawmakers support.
The latest lawmaker to sign on as the tenth co-sponsor of the Bill is current Democratic Senator and Presidential candidate Kamala Harris of California. Known as S. 456, the proposed Bill seeks to “provide for the adjustment of status of certain nationals of Liberia to that a lawful permanent residents, and for other purposes.”
On February 12, 2019, Senator Jack Reed, a Democrat from Rhode Island, introduced the Bill in the 1st Session of the 116th Congress. Since then, it has attracted ten co-sponsors, all Democrats. The 9-page Bill has been read twice and referred to the Committee on Judiciary in the U.S. Senate.
S. 456 in the early stages of the legislative process and will typically be considered by Committee next before it is possibly sent on to the full House or Senate.
President Donald J. Trump recently granted a 1 year extension to the Deferred Enforced Departure (DED) program for Liberians who were at risk of deportation after the program expired on March 31, 2019. “Upon further reflection and review, I have decided that it is in the foreign policy interest of the United States to extend the wind-down period for an additional 12 months,” the Trump statement said. “. . . Extending the wind-down period will preserve the status quo while the Congress considers remedial legislation,” Trump, in his Memorandum, said.
The DED period now runs between April 1, 2019 – March 2020 and Work Authorization benefit will end September 27, 2019, according to the United States Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS).
Liberians impacted by DED have welcomed the last minute extension and are hopeful that Congressional initiatives to grant adjustement of status to allow them to remain in the U.S. permanently will be accomplished before the next expiration in March, 2020.
Source: African Star