19 March 2013

Liberia: Status Extended

President Barack Obama of the United States of America has extended the status of Liberians on Deferred Enforcement Departure (DED) to another 18 months.

A dispatch from the Liberian Embassy in Washington, D.C. says President Obama, in a memorandum to the US Secretary of Homeland Security, ordered the extension to those Liberians presently residing in the United States under the existing grant of DED.

The dispatch quotes the US President in the memorandum as citing compelling foreign policy reasons to again extend the DED.

"Pursuant to my constitutional authority to conduct the foreign relations of the United States, I have determined that it is in the foreign policy interest of the United States to defer for 18 months the removal of any Liberian national, or person without nationality who last habitually resided in Liberia, who is present in the United States and who is under a grant of DED as of September 30, 2011", the dispatch further quotes the US President.

Since 1991, the United States has provided safe haven for Liberians who were forced to flee their country as a result of armed conflict and widespread civil strife, in part through granting Temporary Protected Status (TPS).

As the Liberian war ended in 2003 and conditions improved such that TPS ended effective October 1, 2007, former US President George W. Bush then deferred the enforced departure of the Liberians originally granted TPS. President Obama has now extended the DED to Liberians twice.

The extension also means an authorization for employment beginning March 31, 2013 for qualified Liberians under the status.

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