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U.S. to scrap protection for Liberian immigrants

by Onize Ohikere
Posted 3/28/18, 11:12 am

The Trump administration late on Tuesday announced it would end a program allowing Liberian immigrants to live legally in the United States, due to “significant progress” in their country. The United States had allowed Liberian citizens to live and work under Deferred Enforcement Departure, which began in 2007 during President George W. Bush’s administration and was extended by President Barack Obama in 2016. The program accepted Liberian immigrants due to political conflict and the 2014 Ebola virus outbreak. According to the Department of Homeland Security, 839 Liberian citizens work in the United States under the program. In his memorandum announcing the program’s end, President Donald Trump said Liberia has made significant progress in its preparedness to handle future outbreaks and other political issues. “Liberia is no longer experiencing armed conflict and has made significant progress in restoring stability and democratic governance,” the president wrote. The program will end on March 31, 2019, with the administration granting a 12-month wind-down period to allow those affected and the Liberian government to make necessary preparations. The Trump administration previously announced it would end temporary protected status for thousands of nationals from El Salvador, Haiti, Honduras, and Nicaragua. Earlier this month, immigrants from those countries filed a suit in federal court alleging racial animus motivated the decision.

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Onize Ohikere

Onize is WORLD's Africa reporter. She is a World Journalism Institute graduate and earned a journalism degree from Minnesota State University-Moorhead. Onize resides in Abuja, Nigeria. Follow her on Twitter @onize_ohiks.

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