Liberians fear deportation as Trump’s 31 March deadline expires

Liberians fear deportation as Trump’s deadline expires. Photo : RR

Addis Ababa, Ethiopia (ADV) – Thousands of Liberians who arrived in the Big Apple several decades ago on a resettlement program, could involuntarily return home as President Trumps deadline on 31 March 2019, sources told ADV on Thursday.

United States President Donald Trump has announced that he will not extend the Deferred Enforced Departure (DED) status for Liberians which his predecessors (Bush and Obama) had severally extended.

In 2018 President Trump said several thousand of Liberians who have been living in the United States under the temporary immigration status will have one year to return to their country or they will face deportation.

Mr. Trump made the statement in a memo to the secretary of state that he was formally ending a program that has allowed Liberian immigrants to remain in the United States and work legally since 1999.

Mr. Trump argued that the war had since been over in Liberia and that conditions were now acceptable for those on the DED to return.

It was in 1999 that former US President Bill Clinton established the arrangement in response to conditions in the country after a prolonged civil war in Liberia that left over 250 thousand dead and millions forced into exile.

Liberians who have been in the U.S. since 2002 on the special DED legal status were given a year before they are forced out of the U.S.

Presidents Bush and Obama had extended the stay on several occasions.

Meanwhile, concerned American politicians and civil groups have urged President Trump to simply extend the protections.

Members of Congress from Minnesota, which has the largest Liberian population in the country, wrote a letter to Mr. Trump this month to echo those requests.

“Many of these people have been in our state for decades, and they are an important part of our communities, where they serve as business owners, teachers and healthcare workers,”

© Bur-csa – A.H – N.A / From our regional correspondent Tamba Jean-Matthew III – African Daily Voice (ADV) – Follow us on Twitter : @ADVinfo_eng