Liberian Leaders Make Urgent Plea Over DED Deadline
Days away from a March 31 deadline, thousands of Liberians remain on edge about their living and employment status. An estimated 4,000 Liberians, many of whom live in Brooklyn Park and Brooklyn Center, face possible deportation without an extension of a policy known as Deferred Enforced Departure or DED.
Many DED holders have been in the U.S. for more than 20 years. They previously fled civil war in their homeland and were granted a temporary protected status. Many now have children and have full-time jobs.
“We Cannot Separate Our Kids”
Imam Mohammed Dukuly presides over Masjid Al Ansar mosque in Brooklyn Center. He and other Liberian leaders have been in Washington, D.C., and at the Minnesota Capitol, pleading their case to have the DED immigration policy extended.
“We cannot separate our kids, our daughters going to school. And they will have no families over them. So what becomes of these kids? The government will take care of them? Why do you want to overburden? So these people are working, they are working families,” said Imam Dukuly.
Last year, President Trump gave a one-year notice of his intent to end DED because he says the situation in the West African country is now stable.
However, Liberian leaders disagree. They say if Liberian refugees are sent back to their homeland it would have harmful effects. Brooklyn Park and Brooklyn Center lawmakers have also issued proclamations of support for Liberians, even though it is a federal issue.