WASHINGTON, DC - U.S. Senator Jack Reed (D-RI) applauded President Obama's announcement today extending Deferred Enforced Departure (DED) to Liberians for 18 months (through March 31, 2013). Liberians living in the United States who received the temporary extension had fled a bloody civil war and many built new lives in Rhode Island, having children, starting businesses, buying homes, and paying U.S. taxes.
"I applaud President Obama for extending DED for Liberians for another eighteen months. Liberians have become part of the fabric of communities across the United States, and are making important contributions to Rhode Island and our nation. They are working hard, playing by the rules, and paying U.S. taxes. Many have children who are U.S. citizens, some of whom are currently serving in our military, and this extension will prevent these families from being torn apart," said Senator Reed, author of the Liberian Refugee Immigration Fairness Act (S. 656), who led the effort urging President Obama to lift the September 30th deadline and prevent thousands of Liberians from being deported. Reed has worked for over a decade to pursue a fair pathway to citizenship for Liberians who came to the United States seeking humanitarian relief.
Since 1991, thousands of Liberians have relied on Temporary Protected Status or DED being granted by Republican and Democratic Presidents to extend their legal right to remain in the United States. Liberians have been living, working, and paying taxes in the United States, but have been ineligible for the benefits afforded to other taxpayers.