Liberians Rally For Deferred Enforced Departure Extension
On a cold and blustery day at the Minnesota State Capitol, several hundred Liberians passionately appealed to Minnesota politicians in a solidarity rally.
“Please talk to the President and help our people,” said Alvin Glay of New Hope.
The Liberian contingent wants state representatives and senators in Washington DC to convince President Donald Trump that extending Deferred Enforced Departure (DED) is a worthy cause.
“If DED is not extended there’s going to be families who are going to be torn apart,” said John Samuel Smith of New Hope.
For some Liberians in the northwest suburbs the clock is ticking. President Trump needs to sign the extension by March 31.
With no extension they could be forced to leave the Twin Cities, which has many Liberians concerned.
“Definitely a crisis in the Liberian community,” Smith said
“So many people consider this place to be like home,” Glay said. “So it would be so bad to see so many people that build a family and they’ve got kids and yet they leave their kids and just go back to a country they don’t know.”
The battle to get a DED extension is personal for many Liberians. If it doesn’t happen it could be painful.
“It’s definitely going to harm a lot of people,” Glay said. “That’s why you need to show some love and you need to call upon the Congress to help our people right now.”
“This has happened to my friend Mark Square,” Smith said. “His mother, Miss Vicky Peabody, was taken back to Liberia.”
If the extension is not granted the repercussions will not be good because Liberia is still struggling.
“It’s rough,” Smith said. “There’s not many jobs for people. It’s really tough.”
Since 2007 there have been six DED extensions under former Presidents George W. Bush and Barack Obama.