WASHINGTON, DC – Today, after President Trump announced his decision to terminate Deferred Enforced Departure (DED) for Liberia and authorized a delayed effective date of March 31, 2019 for Liberians living in the Unites States, U.S. Senator Jack Reed (D-RI) issued the following statement:

I am disappointed in the Trump Administration’s decision to terminate DED for Liberians residing legally in the United States.  Liberia is still recovering from the effects of two bloody civil wars and the Ebola epidemic.  There are serious concerns about how this recovery could be affected by an unexpected influx of newcomers from the United States.  Extending DED is in the best interests of both our nation and Liberia.  

“It is helpful, however, that the Trump Administration delayed the effective date for an additional year.  Without this delay, many Liberian-American families would have lost their ability to continue living and working in the United States at the end of this month. 

Many of these honest, hardworking Liberian refugees have become fixtures of our communities over the past 30 years and, in my view, we have long since reached the point where simple justice requires that Congress extend to them a pathway to citizenship.  That is why I have sponsored the Liberian Refugee Immigration Fairness Act for as long as I have served in the Senate.

I will continue to advocate for the Administration to change course and extend DED for Liberians.  In the meantime, I call on Congress to end this uncertainty for Liberians by taking up and passing the Liberian Refugee Immigration Fairness Act.”