Minnesota Lawmakers Put In Plea for Liberians
Most members of Minnesota’s congressional delegation have signed onto a letter to President Trump to extend protections for thousands of Liberians. They could be forced to leave the country when their Deferred Departure Status runs out at the end of March.
Liberian leaders from the northwest metro met with Congressman Erik Paulsen Wednesday in Washington, DC. Paulsen, along with Senators Klobuchar and Smith, and five other Minnesota congressional members all signed a letter to the President asking that the deadline be extended.
Here’s that letter:
Dear President Trump:
We write to ask that you extend Deferred Enforcement Departure (DED) status for Liberians, which is now scheduled to expire on March 31, 2018.
Liberians have had protected status in the United States since President George H.W. Bush first approved Temporary Protected Status (TPS) for Liberia in response to its civil war in 1991. That status was extended under presidents from both parties until it expired in 2007, at which time President George W. Bush granted DED protections to Liberians. Since 2007, DED has been extended six times, allowing recipients to remain in the United States legally and receive work authorization.
Our state of Minnesota has one of the largest Liberian populations in the country. Many of them have been in our state for decades, and they are an important part of our communities, where they serve as business owners, teachers, and health care workers. It is for this reason that we ask you to extend the DED protections for Liberians now in effect before they expire at the end of this month.
Thank you for your prompt consideration of this important issue.
Rep. Paulsen is also co-sponsoring legislation that would enable Liberians who have been living here temporarily to apply for permanent residency.