Reed & Whitehouse Applaud Obama Decision to Extend Liberians Stay in U.S.
WASHINGTON, DC - Today, after the White House announced that President Obama is extending Deferred Enforced Departure (DED) status for the several thousand Liberians who have lived legally in the United States since 1991 and were facing a deportation deadline of March 31, 2009, U.S. Senators Jack Reed (D-RI) and Sheldon Whitehouse (D-RI) issued the following statement:
"I am pleased that President Obama is extending Deferred Enforced Departure for Liberians living legally in the United States. This extension will prevent thousands of Liberians from being separated from their families and deported back to a country still rife with economic, social, and political tensions. It is a critical step towards ensuring that hard-working people who have paid taxes and contributed to our communities are not forced to leave their homes," said Reed, who authored the Liberian Refugee Immigration Fairness Act of 2009 (S. 656) which would allow people who were brought to the United States legally under temporary protection status classification to apply for citizenship. "In the long-term, we need to pass comprehensive immigration reform that once again includes my measure to allow Liberians to apply for citizenship."
"President Obama's decision to allow Liberians living in the United States to remain temporarily in this country without fear of deportation was the right decision for now, but we also need to find a permanent solution," Whitehouse said. "Congress should pass Sen. Reed's Liberian Refugee Immigration Fairness Act and grant these people the opportunity to become citizens."
President Obama's executive order will allow thousands of Liberians living in the United States under temporary protected status to stay in the country for an additional 12 months.
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