Liberian Gov’t Holds Talks With US to Prevent Deportation of Liberians

Liberian Journal (Brooklyn Park, Minnesota), February 11, 2009

The Liberian Government says it is in discussions with US Government officials to address the threat of deportation hanging over Liberians residing in the United States of America. {snip}

In support of the continuing discussions between Liberian and US Government officials to consider an extension in the status of Liberians legally residing in the United States, more than 30 members of the United States Congress have signed a letter, requesting the administration of President Obama for an extension of the Temporary Protective Status for Liberians or grant Deferred Enforced Departure (DED). The request which has a bipartisan support was contained in a letter dated December 19, 2008, expressing deep concern that if TPS for Liberians in the United States were terminated, the country’s recovery could be damaged severely and thousands of families separated and uprooted due to forced repatriation.

The leadership of President Ellen Johnson Sirleaf, the Congressional members noted, has put Liberia on a pathway to reform by rooting out corruption in the highest level of government, but pointed out, however, that the country’s restoration remains a very difficult process. With high unemployment and an infrastructure that is still badly damaged, the US lawmakers argued, Liberia is in no place to welcome home its refugees. An influx of refugees the lawmakers agreed could have a destabilizing effect on the country’s fledgling economic and social structures.

{snip}

The statement was signed by Congressmen Patrick Kennedy of Rhode Island, Jesse Jackson, Jr. of Chicago; New Jersey Congressman Donald Payne and Sheila Jackson Lee of California, among others. A similar letter was also addressed to the outgoing administration of President George W. Bush in December last year.

{snip}

[Editor’s Note: For more on Liberians’ 16-year “temporary” protective status, see yesterday’s story here.]

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