The Dream and Promise Act is the only hope left for Liberians abandoned by the Trump administration

“DED, TPS, and DACA are promises that we have made to our neighbors and we need to fight for these programs by codifying them into law through the Dream and Promise Act.”

Rebekah Entralgo

Tamika Mallory, a protester with UnDocublack Network, is arrested in the Longworth House Office Building while calling for passage of a clean Dream Act on behalf a undocumented black immigrants on February 27, 2018. (Photo Credit: Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call)

This week, thousands of Liberians protected under Deferred Enforced Departure (DED) will become eligible for deportation, after years of building lives, families, and businesses in the United States. One year after President Donald Trump announced he would end protected immigration status for Liberians, DED is set to expire on March 31, 2019.

DED is a temporary program for Liberians that allows beneficiaries to legally work in the United States and travel out of the country with permission. It is renewed completely at the discretion of the president and provides no path to citizenship.

Liberian immigrants were first given permission to live and work in the United States in 1999, when former President Bill Clinton created the DED program. Since then, many Liberian immigrants have alternatively sought protections under DED or Temporary Protected Status (TPS), which grants temporary protections to people fleeing war, natural disasters, or epidemics. Like DED, TPS doesn’t give people a pathway to citizenship.

According to Trump, the conditions that warranted protections for Liberia before — the ongoing civil war and the 2014 Ebola outbreak later — no longer exist.

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