In win for families, protections for Liberian immigrants extended for another year
In a win for families, the Trump administration has reversed course and extended protections for Liberian immigrants for another year, through March 2020. Deferred Enforcement Departure was set to end in just days, on March 31, leaving thousands to lose their permission to work here legally and become vulnerable to deportation.
“The overall situation in West Africa remains concerning, and Liberia is an important regional partner for the United States,” the White House said in a statement. Of course, this is what DED beneficiaries and their advocates had been saying from the start, with one beneficiary stating that “the Liberia that I knew and grew up in is not the Liberia of today.”
The extension follows legal action from a group of Liberian immigrants who recently sued the administration over the termination of their protections, alleging “intentional discrimination directed at the Liberian community.” Vox’s Dara Lind notes that “there was a court hearing this afternoon for a judge to halt it, but the WH blinked.”
This is huge sigh of relief for the many families who would have lost their protections in just a matter of hours, and we thank all who helped by making calls and sending messages over the past few days. But while these families have some security for now, the administration is still framing this extension as a “wind-down period.” Families need permanent relief in the form of legislation such as the Dream and Promise Act so they can live their lives in peace here, where they belong.