Bush Administration Extends Liberians' DED Status

The Perspective

September 27, 2001

Following in the footsteps of the Clinton administration, the Bush administration has extended for another year the immigration status of more than 10,000 Liberians whose current protective status, the Deferred Enforced Departure (DED), would have expired on September 29, 2001. In a September 25th Memorandum to the Attorney General, President Bush Stated:

"There continues to be compelling foreign policy reasons not to deport these Liberians at this time. In particular, there is a significant risk that such a decision would cause the involuntary repatriation of many thousands of Liberian refugees in West Africa, causing instability in Liberia and the region.

"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 1 year the deportation of any Liberian national who is present in the United States as of September 29, 2001, except for the categories of individuals listed below.

"Accordingly, I now direct you to take the necessary steps to implement for these Liberians:

1. deferral of enforced departure from the United States for 1 year from September 29, 2001; and

2. authorization for employment for 1 year from September 29, 2001."

These measures approved by the Bush administration, however, do not apply to all Liberians residing in the United States.

"This directive shall not apply to any Liberian national: (1) who is ineligible for Temporary Protected Status for the reasons provided in section 244(c)(2)(B) of the Immigration and Nationality Act; (2) whose removal you determine is in the interest of the United States; (3) whose presence or activities in the United States the Secretary of State has reasonable grounds to believe would have potentially serious adverse foreign policy consequences for the United States; (4) who voluntarily returned or returns to Liberia or his or her country of last habitual residence outside the United States; (5) who was deported, excluded, or removed prior to the date of this memorandum; or (6) who is subject to extradition."

According to the memorandum, these measures are to take effect immediately.

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