Liberians Rally in Brooklyn Park, Urge Deportation Delay
A policy that impacts thousands of Liberians from the northwest suburbs expires at the end of March. Many from Brooklyn Park are hoping to delay a deportation order.
On Sunday at Brooklyn Park City Hall, a group of Minnesota politicians asked President Trump to reinstate the Deferred Enforced Departure program, also known as DED. The program allows Liberian refugees to work and live in this country, some of whom have been in the northwest suburbs for decades.
“Do the Right Thing”
The politicians and Liberian residents made a plea to the president to “do the right thing.”
“The great icon of our country is the Statue of Liberty, welcoming people, welcoming those who have been persecuted overseas and that’s what we have done and that’s what we have got to keep doing.” said U.S. Rep. Dean Phillips, D-Minnesota. “We are working every day and we’ve got two-and-a-half weeks.”
Brooklyn Park has the largest Liberian population in the U.S., which city officials estimate to be around 7,000. Phillips, U.S. Sen. Tina Smith and some members of the Brooklyn Park City Council showed up to voice support for a DED resolution.
If DED expires some families will be split up. Some will have to sell their houses. And other native Liberians will have to close businesses.
One of those affected is Elouise Hill of Brooklyn Park. Her mom, Louise, has been in Minnesota since 2000, but could be forced to leave.
“It’s crazy anxiety,” Hill said. “I try not to think about it, but hearing her speak today, it’s hard to put it at the back of your mind every day. You try to just go through your day living life. But when it’s coming so down to the wire. When there’s no word about what’s going on, it’s really anxiety inducing.”
President Trump eliminated DED in 2018 believing that things had become stable in Liberia. However, the speakers believe there’s a better solution, such as allowing Liberians a pathway to becoming U.S. citizens.