Liberians grapple with potential loss of US legal status
Updated : May 15, 2019 09:18 AM IST
As snow blanketed African markets, churches and graves in Brooklyn Park, Minnesota, in February, members of the Liberian community were praying fervently that this would not be their last winter in the United States.
A form of immigration status known as Deferred Enforced Departure (DED) – which had protected the migrants from deportation and allowed them to work legally – was due to expire in March, meaning they would have had to leave the country voluntarily or be deported.
It was all part of the effort by President Donald Trump's administration to widen its crackdown on legal and illegal immigration to the United States.
Days before the March deadline, Trump granted Liberians a reprieve to last through March 30, 2020. Though relieved, community members recognized that the clock was simply reset for the thousands of Liberians who fled civil war and instability in their home country in the 1990s and early 2000s.