Local Liberian organization prepares for what’s next

Local Liberian organization prepares for what’s next
April 05
03:00 2018

Trump ends DED status

Last week President Donald Trump announced plans to end Deferred Enforced Departure (DED) and Temporary Protected Status (TPS) for Liberian immigrants, forcing people who have lived here for years out of the country.

Since 1991 the special immigration program has allowed thousands of Liberians to live and work in the U.S. because of armed conflicts that were gripping the country. Over the years several presidents have approved the status, most recently President Barack Obama in 2016, who extended DED for 18 months.   

With President Obama’s grant set to expire on March 31, on Tuesday, March 27, President Trump said in a memo that he was formally ending the status. In the memo Trump cited improved living conditions and the end of ongoing war as his reasons for ending the status.

The memo reads, “Liberia is no longer experiencing armed conflict and has made significant progress in restoring stability and democratic governance. Liberia has also concluded reconstruction from prior conflicts which has contributed significantly to an environment that is able to handle adequately the return of its nationals.”

Also listed in the memo is a list of actions that are to be carried out by the Secretary of Homeland Security.  The termination of DED for all Liberian beneficiaries is effective March 31, 2019. According to the memo, a 12-month “wind-down” period will be granted to DED beneficiaries to make arrangements.

On the day the “wind-down” period was set to begin, members of the Liberian Organization of the Piedmont (LOP) came together for the inauguration ceremony of its new officers. Since 1988, the LOP has worked to improve the lives of the thousands of Liberians that call Greensboro, High Point and Winston-Salem home.

When discussing President Trump’s decision to end DED status, James Y. Hunder Sr., an LOP founding member and the board chairman, said there is work to be done.

“Coincidently to have our ingauration on the day of which the DED expires, that is very significant,” he continued. “It just gives us more work to do and more prayers to pray that in essence before the one-year expiration is over with, I hope Congress will step in and revise that mandate.

“… it’s very un-American, especially considering the relationships that coexist between Liberia and America historically. So at this point in time to look at us and try to kick us out the country is sad.”

Olu Browne, the newly installed LOP president, said despite Trump’s attempt to kick Liberians out the country, the future of the LOP is bright. He said, “We will continue to work to support Liberians not only in our community but elsewhere as well.”

Browne said as president his goal will be to bring all Liberians together where they can really begin to support each other in every way possible.  He said, “not that we’re not already doing that, but we have to do more, especially in times like this.”

About Author

Tevin Stinson

Tevin Stinson

Related Articles


Featured Sponsor

Receive Chronicle Updates

  • This field is for validation purposes and should be left unchanged.



More Sponsors